#ThunderUp Get Too Careless With The Ball In Loss To Heat; Here Are The 3 Things That Didn’t Go Well For Them Tonight – BlackSportsOnline
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#ThunderUp Get Too Careless With The Ball In Loss To Heat; Here Are The 3 Things That Didn’t Go Well For Them Tonight

Oklahoma City – The Thunder came into the game on the second night of a back to back after losing to the Nets last night and wanted to get back in the win column.

Last night against the Nets they simply didn’t have the talent the Nets have and were just outmatched. Tonight with no Bam Adebayo or Jimmy Butler plus it being the last game of a 5 game road trip for the Heat it made for a good night to get a win for the Thunder.

Sadly, that didn’t happen because the Thunder for a lot of the game didn’t seem to want to be in the building. Except for a few players.

I completely understand that not many, if any, fans want the team to win many games, but these are the types of games they have to win to continue to create winning habits and a winning culture.

They did not falling to the Heat 103-90. It was a perfect night to get back in the winning column given all the circumstances the Heat had but they’ll have to wait until Wednesday to do that.

Here are the things that didn’t go well for the team tonight.

1) Shai Wasn’t The Best Player On The Floor

So far this season, Shai has shared the floor with stars such as Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, and Joel Embiid and was the best player on the floor. Without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo for the Heat tonight, it would seem that he was for sure going to be the best player on the floor. He wasn’t. That title belonged to Tyler Herro for the night. Shai wasn’t even close to being the best player for the Thunder tonight. They lost by 13 and Shai didn’t shoot the ball well at all. Only 2-11. That isn’t the issue. It’s fine for stars to shoot bad but it isn’t fine when they don’t look like they want to be on the floor and that’s what Shai looked like tonight. Only 11 shots for your star is unacceptable. Yes, he was seeing double and triple teams but he’s seen those all season and has looked far more aggressive. There were times he was being guarded by Duncan Robinson and settled for a 3 or passed.  And no disrespect to Duncan but he can’t guard Shai. If Shai is going to be the star the Thunder want he can’t have games like this and I don’t expect him to for a while.

2) They Didn’t Value The Ball

The Thunder had a season high in turnovers with 20 and the Heat converted those into 31 points. Simply put they were careless with the ball. It wasn’t really much of what the Heat were doing, just some really sloppy turnovers for them tonight. They did have a season high in assists with 26 so they were playing the right way for the most part but they simply can’t have games where they turn the ball over like this. After tonight’s game, they will have had 15 or more turnovers in 9 of the 13 games and double digit turnovers in all 13. Young teams usually don’t value the ball like vet teams and they don’t turn the ball over the most in the league but if they want to be successful they will learn to value the ball more.

3) Paint Points

Normally, if I put paint points was a reason the team lost it would be because they gave up a lot to their opponent. That wasn’t the case tonight because they only gave up 28 paint points to the Heat. The reason they lost because of paint points is because they only had 30. As I said before, this team Heat team didn’t have Bam Adebayo tonight so for the Thunder to only have 30 points in the paint is pretty bad. To make things worse, they only shot 15-35 there. They were doing a pretty good job of scoring in the paint the last few games but couldn’t get it going there tonight for some reason. 35 shot attempts in the paint while shooting 41 3s is not a great formula to win games when you aren’t that good of a 3 point shooting team.

The Thunder were led by Lu Dort who had his 4th straight 20+ point game for the first time in his career with his 20 points and 4 rebounds. Jeremiah Robinson Earl was big with his 16 points and 5 rebounds. Aleksej Pokusevski has played well recently and continued that stretch of good play with 11 points off the bench while Shai, despite his subpar performance had 10 points and 5 assists. Josh Giddey was very close to becoming the youngest player in history with a triple double with 6 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists.

The team looks to get back in the win column on Wednesday when they face the Rockets at home.

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