Thunder Vulnerable to Physical Teams?
Tuesday’s 97-90 loss to the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena may have exposed a flaw that could become fatal if left to fester.
The Thunder have slowly but surely become very vulnerable to physical teams with the size and the depth to score and defend in the paint. As fate would have it, the Utah Jazz are one of those teams. For the entire game Tuesday night, the Jazz picked at that flaw like a scab, taking turns pounding the ball inside to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, drawing fouls on Kendrick Perkins, and closing up the middle on Durant.
It was an all-around performance that bothered the Thunder. Perkins was seen talking to himself angrily during the loss. James Harden left the locker room in 10 minutes, headphones on, without so much as a word to the media.
“I thought the Jazz did a great job of playing physical basketball,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “We knew going into this game that they were a physical team and that we had to match that. I thought they did a good job of winning that part of the game.”