The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the middle of their first three-game losing streak of the season. Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers handed OKC a loss on their home-court. The Thunder played a good game for three quarters, but then everything fell apart quickly. OKC gave up 42 points to the Cavs in the fourth en route to their 114-104 loss on Wednesday night.
Since Russell Westbrook returned from injury, the Thunder have failed to win a game. First, it seemed like their chemistry was a bit off, but after three losses, it is clear that their defense has taken a huge step in the wrong direction. With Kendrick Perkins out for at least six weeks, the Thunder are in a tough position. They have to find answers quickly if they are going to finish the season off on the right foot.
Other than their porous defense recently, the Thunder’s confidence has also taken a slide. The team we saw before the All-Star break was sure of themselves. Now, they seem a bit lost out there. Offensively, you expect OKC to be competitive, especially with Kevin Durant and Westbrook on the floor. Defensively, their focus is not where it should be at this point of the season. When you give up 42 fourth quarter points to a less than mediocre team at home, then you know something is terribly wrong.
Most people will point the finger at Westbrook, but he has played well since his return. Durant’s play has also been steady with Westbrook on the court. KD almost tallied up a triple-double against the Cavs but fell one assist short. The focus for OKC will be defense over the next few games. If they get back on track defensively then they will be back in position to make a run for a title. Their next game is on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies; we will see if this team is serious about their defensive efforts or if they will continue to slide.