#ThunderUp Great Offensive Night Not Enough To End Losing Streak Against Wizards; Here Are The 3 Reasons They Lost – BlackSportsOnline
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#ThunderUp Great Offensive Night Not Enough To End Losing Streak Against Wizards; Here Are The 3 Reasons They Lost

Oklahoma City – The Thunder hit the road for a quick two game road trip tonight with game one in Washington to face the Wizards.

The Thunder looked to get back in the win column after losing their last 4 games and have a somewhat healthy team back together. The Wizards were missing their best player and Allstar Bradley Beal due to a second stint in health and safety protocols.

After last game where Shai Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t play well at all, it was imperative that he come into this game and look like the best player on the floor with Beal out and that he did. He came in and was very aggressive getting to the basket and didn’t settle at all. That set the tone for the whole team on the offensive end and that’s how they played all game.

However, coming into the game, it was more important that they played good consistent defense because they haven’t played good consistent defense for a while now.

They did not.

There was no point during the game where they played good defense even. The Wizard were way too comfortable all night shooting 54% from the floor which led to their 112-118 victory. If the Thunder had played any kind of defense at all, they win the game easily because the Wizards didn’t play any defense at all either. It was a night where both teams played excellent on the offensive end due to neither team playing any kind of defense.

Defense was a big reason why the Thunder didn’t come out on top but here are the 3 main reasons they lost.

1) Absolutely No Paint Defense

The Thunder lack size, yes, but they have never defended the paint this bad, outside of the game where they got destroyed by the Grizzlies. The team’s point of attack defense was horrendous. They couldn’t keep anyone in front of them and the boxscore reflected that with the Thunder giving up 64 points in the paint which is the second most they’ve given up all year. They defended the 3 decent but the Wizards didn’t really have to take many because they lived in the paint all night. Even worse, the Wizards shot 71% there. It was a little shocking when they missed to be honest because that’s how bad the Thunder defense was. If they want to get back to winning games, they need to fix their point of attack defense sooner rather than later.

2) Bad Shot Selection (KYP)

The shot selection for the Thunder wasn’t horrible given they took 50 shots in the paint and 39 3s. However, this is where KYP (know your personnel) come in. First, the Wizards give up the 8th most points in the paint in the NBA so you would like to see them take more than 50 shots in the paint and less 3s. Second, the Thunder should have realized how easy it was to get to the paint and do a better job of trying to get in there. Especially in a game where they only lost by 4. A few of those 3s that were taken could have easily been shots attempted in the paint where the Thunder shot 64%. So it was clearly very easy for them to score there and if they take paint shots instead of 3s on a few of those possessions they likely win the game.

3) Really Bad Execution Down The Stretch

Even though they played horrible defense all game, the Thunder still had a really good chance to win this game down the stretch. They had some bad defense down the stretch which played a factor into why they lost but there were two other things at the end of the game that were big reasons why they lost. One was on the coach and one was on the players. First one on Mark Daigneault was when they were down 3 and they called a timeout to draw up a play for a 3. It goes to Dort and he gets a great look but he airballs. If he hits it and they tie the game great but there was 30 seconds left in the game and they didn’t need a 3. Given how well they were at getting to the basket, they could have taken a quick two and got the lead down to 1 with plenty of time left. A 3 at that point was absolutely the wrong call. The second was on every player on the floor for the last 30 seconds. After the Dort 3, it was obvious they were going to have to foul. Yet, after the Wizards inbound the ball, the Thunder waited 10 seconds to foul. To make things worse, they had a foul to give and were going to have to foul again. Then, after the Wizards inbounded again, they waited 4 seconds to foul again. That’s 14 seconds of extra time they could have used but wasted. Would the Wizards have missed their free throws or would the Thunder have won the game? Who knows but they didn’t give themselves a chance after wasting all of that time.

The Thunder were led by Shai who bounced back from a really bad game with 32 points and 8 assists while Josh Giddey had a great all around game with 18 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. Lu Dort added 17 points and 5 rebounds. Off the bench Darius Bazley was great and had 14 points and 9 rebounds. Ty Jerome contributed 12 points and Tre Mann contributed 11 points both off the bench.

They will look to end their 5 game losing streak when they head to Brooklyn on Thursday night.

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