Thunder: Recent skid is no fun for anyone, but Thunder Nation should relax

Kendrick Perkins and Scott Brooks say every team goes through a rough patch. And it's better to get it out of the way now, before the playoffs begin.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 12, 2012

This is what it feels like when you're playing for it all.

The losses linger longer. The frustration fizzles slower.

Every setback seems to sting more than ever before.

That's become the Oklahoma City Thunder's reality.

“We're a pretty good team now, and our guys take it hard,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.

The best team in the Western Conference has fallen into a slight funk that has fans worried and others wondering if the Thunder is the contender it's been cracked up to be.

In reality, the Thunder has done nothing but hit a common hiccup, a rough patch that is bound to arrive at some point no matter if it's an 82-game season or shortened 66-game version.

Did we mention the anxiety is all because OKC has dropped just four of its past six games — by a combined 18 points?

If everyone else has lost sight of what the Thunder has accomplished this season, and how good OKC can be when it is at its best, the 15 players and six coaches on the team can assure you that they have not.

Those 21 men see the big picture.

“I can't remember a time, even when we were losing, it felt like (gloom and doom) in our building because we know what we have to do,” Brooks said. “There are going to be stretches during every season that you're not going to play at your best. You're going to have a bad break and you're going to lose a couple of games.

“We know how to win games. We just have to execute it. You don't have the record we have and not be a pretty good team that executes down the stretch.”

The Thunder is 15-9 since the All-Star break. Apparently, some see that as a cause for concern. But it's relatively on par with how the best teams in the league have fared over the same span.

Going into Thursday's games, the Heat was 13-9 since the All-Star break and had lost five of its last 10. The Bulls, who still hold the league's best record, were 17-6 since the All-Star break and had lost four of eight going into Thursday's games.

Conclusion: it happens.

“Not to make excuses, but with a young team, we already clinched the playoffs,” said Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. “You know, at the end of the day, you're going to be the 1 or 2 seed ending the regular season.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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