The Oklahoma City Thunder could not get their traditional bounce back against the Atlanta Hawks and instead get blown out in their second straight game. The Hawks continue their winning ways, extending their winning streak to seven their longest since 201, with a 116-93 win over the Thunder.
The OKC Thunder were without Darius Bazley and George Hill. That is it. The team was as close to fully healthy as you can get at this stage in the year. Yet, they were still blown out in this contest. This might be the new normal in Oklahoma City, as the team sinks into their tank, slams the door, and prepares to bunker down. This has been the goal all along, it has been what the front office has prepared for, every more they have made since the bubble ended has been to get worse. After a surprising first half, here we are.
These next two games, against the lowly Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves, will tell the story. With more blowout losses piling up, it is only human nature to wonder how much longer can this team play with incredible effort levels? This Thunder team has hung their hat on trying hard, playing with effort, and bouncing back so far this year. However, the question has to become how many more blowouts can this team suffer before they stop giving that effort?
OKC got down 17 points early, and did not produce their seventh point of the contest until the five minute mark. The team went from 1-of-12 inside the three point line in the first frame, and never got better from the field. This was a forgettable day offensively for the team as a whole.
Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander only produced four points in the first half, but finished the game with 19 after an outstanding third quarter. SGA went 44-percent from the floor, 1-for-4 from deep, three rebounds, four assists, and a pair of turnovers.
The lone bright spot of the Thunder offense was Ty Jerome who broke out for a career high 18-points, including an impressive 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. Jerome continues to show his versatility, after being a good playmaker the last few games, in this contest, he was a spot-up shooting, floor spacing, machine. Versatility will get players far in Mark Daigneault’s system.
Up next, the Thunder take on the struggling Rockets on Sunday at 1 p.m.