Thursday, November 20, 2008

and then there was one

with another disappointing second half, oklahoma city dropped its ninth game in a row and is alone at the bottom of the conference with one victory. only washington is as inept as the thunder, and the coach said after the game that changes will be made.

the problem is that there aren't enough things that can be done to fix the way okc has played. chris wilcox did return to action, but the thunder managed only 36 second-half points in a 108-88 setback. it ended up being a good thing that my partner in crime did the preview because i was going to gush about kevin durant. turns out the clippers decided to pay extra attention to the reigning rookie of the year, who failed to eclipse the 20-point mark.

durant did lead the team in scoring, however, but didn't get enough looks at the basket against los angeles. more importantly was the fact he only attempted two foul shots, again proving that the clippers kept him from dominating around the basket. for okc to be successful, durant has to be able to post up smaller two-guards and get fouled in the process.

instead of a much-needed victory, the thunder will have to take away two smaller accomplishments. they were perfect from the charity stripe, hitting all 23 shots attempted. los angeles dominated inside, but okc was able to find open shots from the outside, knocking down half of the ten 3-pointers attempted.

leading the charge from the outside was damien wilkins, who finished second on the night with 17 points. wilkins and durant both hit a pair of triples, but wilkins did it in 15 fewer minutes of action. he made the most of him time on the floor, filling the stat sheet with five rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block.

russell westbrook was the other thunder player to reach double figures, but both he and jeff green continue to struggle with making shots on a continual basis. if the coach is serious about shaking things up, maybe it is time for green to be coming off the bench, and wilkins to take over. okc desperately needs scorers, since none of the post players are getting it done.

a healthy wilcox could help things out, and desmond mason should also not be forgotten. the thunder have a very tough home-and-away coming up with the former tenants of the ford center, the new orleans hornets. chris paul and company come to oklahoma city on friday in the first nationally televised game in thunder history. can the team put together two halves of basketball or will that one be over by the end of the first quarter? if last night's game is any indication, expect okc to come out fast and hope to hold on against one of the nba's best.

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