Thunder-Clippers: Clippers' bench torches OKC reserves in Game 1

Amidst the avenue of Clipper layups and open 3-pointers was another sore spot that needs patching — bench play.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 6, 2014

In 30 minutes, Jackson had four points on 1-of-8 shooting. He missed both of his threes and was one of a line of lost Thunder defenders who got burned by the sharpshooting Crawford. Only needing 19 minutes before a long fourth quarter rest, Crawford had 17 easy points on 11 shots.

“Jamal Crawford showed you why he was Sixth Man of the Year,” Paul said.

The Thunder’s bench woes, though, don’t fall squarely on Jackson. Caron Butler was back with the B Team on Monday night, and he struggled mightily. In 24 minutes against his former team, he had three points on 1-of-7 shooting.

That’s two makes on 15 combined attempts from the Thunder’s two biggest offensive sparkplugs. Against a team as potent as the Clippers, that’s a recipe for disaster.

“I believe in all of our guys,” OKC coach Scott Brooks said when asked about the bench struggles. “We have to make some adjustments.”

Beyond better team-wide defense – which clearly jumps to the top of the list – bench play might be the biggest among them.

The Thunder doesn’t have to severely outplay the Clipper reserves, but it can’t get annihilated like it did Monday night. Or this might be a short series.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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