Things just seem to keep getting worse for the Oklahoma City Thunder in this series.
Since taking a 3-0 lead, the Houston Rockets have fought back to force tonight’s Game 6 and all of the momentum seems to be in their favor.
The loss of Russell Westbrook has left the Thunder scrambling to figure out how to play without him. It hasn’t been pretty and really the only reason they have been in these games has been the offensive brilliance of Kevin Durant.
Durant is averaging 38.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game since the Westbrook injury and he’s shooting 52 percent from the field.
In the fourth quarter of Game 5, we saw Durant held scoreless for the first time in his playoff career in the fourth quarter as the Thunder could not come back.
OKC resorted to hacking Omer Asik again and again in what is usually a plan for a team with no answers.
James Harden stole the show playing his best game of the series and making all seven of his three-point attempts.
The Rockets’ confidence is now at an all-time high and for good reason. They still need to win two more games though.
There were some positive signs you can take from the last game. The offense did seem slightly better but maybe that was just because they were playing at home.
It was impossible though for the Thunder to overcome Kevin Martin shooting 1-for-10 from the field. Odd as well was Nick Collison playing just six and a half minutes in the game.
For as bad as the Thunder offense has looked, they’ve still been decently efficient. It’s the defense that is really struggling against Houston’s small lineups.
Small lineups have stumped Scott Brooks in the past and this series is more of that. Kendrick Perkins has been basically useless and even the perimeter players are making simple mistakes on a regular basis.
The Thunder need to get it together on that end of the floor before anything else to finish the Rockets off. Two losses in a row should serve as a pretty big wakeup call and the Thunder should put forth a better defensive effort and performance tonight.
It feels like the Thunder will need a complete game to get the win though. They need to tighten up the defense and hope Durant can still play out of this world.
The game will tip at 8:30 p.m. CST tonight and air nationally on ESPN.