Last night, the Thunder heart-breakingly lost Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals 99-93. With the series now being tied up at one, the Thunder will travel to Memphis for a critical Game 3 and 4. In terms of Game 2, there were a whole lot to take out of the loss:
Durant can’t carry the load
KD was terrific once again last night with 36 points, 11 rebounds and one assist shy of a triple double with nine. He did all he could. You could not have asked for a better performance from #35. But, when you look at the other eight guys in the rotation, they quite frankly just didn’t show up (besides Derek Fisher who had a big 19 points).
Kevin Martin: six points, 2-11 shooting.
Serge Ibaka: 11 points, on 5-12 shooting.
Thabo Sefolosha: 7 points.
Reggie Jackson: 10 points on 3-8 shooting.
That is just not going to get it done. Martin combined for 50 points in back-to-back games and Scott Brooks was counting on him for another big game. And that right there is a big problem without #0.
Turnovers and second shots
How about this stat via Royce Young of dailythunder.com? “In Game 1, the Thunder turned it over 10 times, and allowed four second chance points to the Grizzlies. In Game 2, the Thunder turned it over 21 times and allowed 23 second chance points. That’s your game in a nutshell.”
Perkins and Ibaka
The two guys who are most vital in this series are Ibaka and Perkins. It’s obvious. Yes, they do have a tough assignment having to guard Gasol and Randolph. But, something? Anything, guys? Ibaka was -6 and Perkins was -10 last night. They combined for 11 rebounds. Mike Conley had 10 rebounds himself. Not to mention, Gasol and Randolph combining for 39 points on 17-34 (50%) from the floor.
The positive is that this Oklahoma City team is great at bouncing back. As Durant said, “We feel confident. We can’t put our heads down. We can’t be upset with ourselves because we lost. Memphis is a really good team. We’ve got to keep going forward. I think there are some things we can correct and get better at and we’ll be fine.”