After losing two straight earlier in the week the Oklahoma City Thunder finally righted the ship a bit with a win against the Orlando Magic, but that win wont dismiss the fact that the Thunder are slumping a bit.
The Thunder followed a home loss to the Denver Nuggets to fall in overtime on the road to the Memphis Grizzlies, looking out a sorts at times in both games. With the Nuggets and Grizzlies both being potential playoff opponents at some point, the Thunder need to use these loses as motivation over the next couple weeks of the season to regain their stride and play their best basketball of the season.
Lack of consistent outside shooting was one of the factors in both losses. The Thunder shot only 4-25 from deep against the Nuggets, then followed that up by going just 2-18 against the Grizzlies. Oklahoma City wasn’t much better in their win Friday night, still shooting just 5-21 from behind the arc. I’m no math major, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that shooting 6-43 from three-point range isn’t going to cut it.
Besides Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin, Oklahoma City doesn’t have much outside shooting at all. Russell Westbrook is capable of getting hot in stretches but he is far from reliable from deep and is only shooting .323 from three. Derek Fisher at one point was a knock down shooter from outside but at this stage of his career he’s far from a threat.
Defenses are amped up in the playoffs and teams will be packing the lane to slow down Westbrook and Durant’s driving lanes, so the Thunder will need to find their range fast if they want to return to the NBA finals.