Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder will not use long road trip as an excuse for mediocrity

Coach Scott Brooks: “It was a long road trip, but everybody has the same amount of road games. It's not like we're the only team that had a long road trip.”
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 28, 2013

photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (35) talks with head coach Scott Brooks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) ORG XMIT: OAS104
Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (35) talks with head coach Scott Brooks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) ORG XMIT: OAS104

The Thunder's inconsistency on the road was alarming. Each win was followed with a loss. About the only constant was dreadful defense.

Oklahoma City allowed 106 points and 46.6 percent shooting in those six games. Sure, the first two went into overtime. But even if you take away the points Dallas and Denver scored in the extra periods, the Thunder allowed 102.5 points per game — which would rank fifth worst in the league.

“We just got to do a better job of having our hand up and contesting shots,” said Kevin Durant. “We just got to do a better job. I think we were making a good first effort. We got to have a better second effort.”

The trip culminated with the Thunder allowing the Lakers to shoot an opponent-high 55.4 percent from the field. Six Lakers players scored in double figures, as Kobe Bryant, in the words of Brooks, “picked us apart” with 14 assists.

The Thunder's defense went from yielding 95.9 points on average before the trip to 97.3, falling to 16th in the league.

Oklahoma City now has three days off to formulate a strategy to right the ship.

The good news is the Thunder is back home.

The bad news is the first game following a road trip generally is considered the toughest — and a rested and always tough Memphis Grizzlies team, which already knocked off the Thunder at home, looms.


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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