The time for talking is fast coming to an end for the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s time to shut-up and play RIGHT NOW! And a win against the best team in the entire NBA tonight would be a *great* starting point. The suddenly “silent” Thunder got drubbed in Houston last night, giving up 40 first quarter points and a near triple-double to former Thunder star James Harden (31 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds).
The 112-101 loss was the Thunder’s fourth straight away from OKC, by a total of 63 points. Not a very good confidence boost, considering the mighty Golden State Warriors (31-5) invade the “Peake” for a 7-o’clock nationally televised game tonight. And after that? How about five straight road games away from home-sweet-home! The issues are *real*, the coach and the team hasn’t addressed them…and time is running out. Even if there is more than 40-games left in the season.
For a team that calls itself “defensive minded”, the Thunder plays little, if any. 3-point shooters are feasting on the Thunder’s inability to get out and get a hand in the face of these long-range bombers. Harden lit up his old ‘mates for 6 three point baskets last night; the Rockets as a team made 16 hoops from behind the arc. Golden State has arguably the top two pure shooters in the NBA in the “Splash Brothers”, aka: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and the Warriors ripped the Thunder for 15 made “3’s” the last time the two teams played in Oakland. Since defense is mostly EFFORT, we’ll see how much the Thunder “wants it” before the home crowd tonight.
Reports continue to swirl that OKC could be close to making a deal that would send veteran Kendrick Perkins to Brooklyn for the Nets 7-foot all star center Brook Lopez. Multiple outlets from coast-to-coast insist the two teams are talking and one Charles Barkley wholly endorsed the deal on TNT Thursday night, calling the Thunder “a championship team right now” if they can swing the deal and bring Lopez into the fold.
But regardless of who’s here and who’s not — this team *must* start playing with urgency NOW. No one feels sorry for the Thunder about all the injuries that threatened to derail the season before it even tipped off. And it seems like *every* team in the Western Conference is getting better each and every game. So if the Thunder is going to rally, and get into the top 8 to qualify for the post-season…the time is now, RIGHT now. Otherwise, this will go down as the most disappointing season in the Thunder’s existence since arriving from Seattle those several seasons ago.