This season could be longer than originally thought, Thunder fans. Given what transpired Wednesday night at the Ford Center, patience not only will be a virtue with the Thunder, it will be a minimum requirement. The Thunder got rolled by the Milwaukee Bucks 98-87 on opening night inside the Ford Center. The home team trailed by double-digits for the final 29 minutes and trailed by as many as 24 at one point. Granted, it's only one game, but is that a good thing or a bad thing? Keep in mind, people, the Bucks aren't very good. Much like the Thunder, no one is picking Milwaukee to play more than 82 games this season. The Bucks wore green, but they hardly resemble the world champion Celtics, who next Wednesday will make their only visit here. “We didn’t play like we were capable of playing, and that's a shame,” Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo said afterward. The Thunder struggled from the very beginning. The effort in the first half was questionable. All summer long, we've been selling this team as a group that might not win, but it will at least play hard. The Thunder did neither, and that's unacceptable, even to a bunch of forgiving, impressionable newcomers like us. The effort improved in the second half, but the outcome never was in doubt. The sellout crowd of 19,136 was above-average in its performance, which is acceptable given how the Thunder was below-average. When the Thunder excelled, so did the fans. That’s usually the way it works. Nowhere else in the NBA can the home team trail 50-35 at halftime and leave the court to applause. Rarely is an 11-point loss at home accepted with a standing ovation. Even Thunder fans leave early, but they stuck around until the 3-minute mark. Asked at halftime what he thought of the show, former OU football coach Barry Switzer joked, “Didn't make enough first downs.” Not enough assists, either. The Thunder had 16 assists and 19 turnovers, not a good ratio. Quality NBA teams have a solid point guard and at least one 3-point shooter, and the Thunder appears to have neither. Trouble is, both are hard to come by. They’re out there, but they're all taken. The player with the biggest role is often the smallest guy on the court. This state has three great Division I-A quarterbacks, but it has no NBA quarterback. Perhaps that will change in time, but the timetable will change if the Thunder doesn't build off what happened on opening night. John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 9-11 a.m. on New JOX 930 (AM).