OKC Thunder grades: Shooting woes and poorly timed substitutions in clutch time keeps OKC win-less

OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Al Horford, Kyrie Irving vs OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder remain win-less after coughing up a nine point lead in clutch time to the Celtics. More importantly this loss punctuates very specific issues within the team’s offense

It never feels good to lose, much less in a game which was seemingly in hand. There are clear and present dangers to address. This game had a more complete defensive effort, but the OKC Thunder are having to work so hard to score it’s taking a toll on them defensively as the game progresses.

OKC won most of the key categories – rebounding, points in the paint, fast break scoring and equaled the assist total of Boston. Yet, once again, ill advised substitutions, lack of floor spacing and continuing shooting woes ultimately keeps the squad with a big fat zero in the win column.

101. 18. 95. 149. Final

To that end, the elephant in the corner of the room is the absolute necessity for OKC to add at least one reliable and consistent perimeter sniper. There is also enough of a sample size now to suggest this team needs to return to the fundamentals and hire a shooting coach.

And, I’m not arbitrarily suggesting this in order to develop and improve 3-point accuracy. Rather, the abysmal free throw shooting. OKC shot 56 percent from the charity stripe (14-25) – a completely unacceptable margin. To put this in perspective, Stephen Curry is shooting 52.4 percent from the perimeter where he is moving and being guarded.

OKC remain win-less with the Phoenix Suns on tap Sunday to close out the week. Three games next week offer the LA Clippers, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards. It’s imperative the Thunder right the ship now or risk dropping too far out of the race. Billy Donovan needs to address the starting rotation and Sam Presti has decisions and sniper shopping to undertake.