The OKC Thunder suffer an embarrassing loss to Rockets

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered an embarrassing loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, and there are many lessons to learn from the OKC Thunder in this contest. The Houston Rockets won this game 112-106 while outrebounding the Thunder by ten boards.

This was just a sleepy game for Oklahoma City, who, to this point in the season, has prided themselves on showing up each game, outworking, out-hustling, and out-efforting their opponents. Unfortunately, that was not the case tonight. The Thunder looked disinterested, as if they were sleepwalking, and for the first time in this rebuild, as if they took a game for granted.

The OKC Thunder got punched in the mouth by the Houston Rockets, suffering an embarrassing loss, and are now on a four-game skid against Houston in the Toyota Center.

The Oklahoma City Thunder entered this game just a game out of the NBA postseason picture and starring down the barrel of two “gimme” games against the worst team in basketball. However, the Thunder were fresh from an off day, understood the beat down they were handed the last time they were in this building, and were looking to turn the page after a late loss to the Warriors on Monday.

Things were pointing up, especially after the Thunder fanbase got the uplifting news that Andre Roberson would return to the hardwood for the G-League affiliate, the OKC Blue, this week.

Instead of celebrating a win against the worst team in the NBA, the fanbase’s most prominent social media rivalry, and the new updated playoff picture, fans are frustrated by this loss.

While I get it, you might be screaming at your device, saying, “none of this matters! This season is house money!” but this is part of the growing experience. Expecting to win a game and laying an egg is part of life in the NBA, and that is what they did tonight. So it is okay to let this loss sting, and now it is time to see how the OKC Thunder respond.

The Thunder sits two games out of the sixth worst record in the league and a game and a half out of the NBA Play-in tournaments 10th seed. It is time for Oklahoma City to decide which path they will take this season.

The good news is, long-term either option is great for the Thunder. Increased lottery odds make next year even more exciting, and a play-in run would give the youngest team in the NBA some valuable experience.

We will know if this is a postseason-caliber team by the time the All-Star break rolls around. At that time, Oklahoma City will have played the Rockets two more times, the Warriors, Lakers, Trail Blazers, and Pelicans. If they survive that stretch with a positive record, it will get harder and harder to see them missing the play in, given who they would need to knock off in that spot.

If they fall off a cliff during this stretch, it is full steam into draft coverage and focusing on March Madness after the break.

The ball is in the Thunder’s court, as it was tonight; now, let’s sit back and see what they do with it.

Next. Andre Roberson inks a contract with the OKC Blue. dark