The Thunder is sixth in the league in bench scoring, getting 35.2 points a game from its reserves. In Wednesday’s loss, the bench scored 45, led by a season-high 17 from Damien Wilkins
. Would coach P.J. Carlesimo
consider changing the starting lineup?
"We’ve got to sit down and consider a lot of things,” Carlesimo said. "I don’t want to just say it’s the lineup. We have to look at everything because obviously what we’re doing is not working very well.”
Losing streaks sometimes feed off themselves. That’s why veterans Joe Smith
and Nick Collison
and Carlesimo said a nine-game losing streak will test the locker room demeanor.
"We’ve got to be real careful of not developing a losing mentality like, ‘What’s going to wrong now?’ ” Collison said. "It seems like we had that tonight. We have to do a better job of seeing every possession as opposed to the big picture of the (outcome of) the game.”
Carlesimo said: "Now is an easy time to point fingers and for a team to come apart. We need to come together. We need to work and not be concerned if I’m the one getting the minutes, I’m the one getting the shots or I’m the one doing this. We need to be concerned with us, are we getting better?”
Carlesimo said a 1-11 record is ugly, but losing will never be acceptable, even in a season where some will judge progress by whether young nucleus players such as Kevin Durant, Jeff Green
and Russell Westbrook
"Time to talk about a building season is when the year is over and you analyze whether some individuals got better and whether we progressed as a team,” Carlesimo said. "Right now, we have to be more competitive and win basketball games. We’re capable of doing that.
"I don’t think we’re trying to catch lightning in a bottle. I’m not saying we expected to be 10-1. But we can play better. That’s what we have to do.”
The Clippers nearly doubled the Thunder in the paint, outscoring Oklahoma City 58-30. Clippers center Chris Kaman
had 25 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.
"This is definitely something to build on, especially defensively,” said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
. "We got something like 49 deflections, which is tremendous. We also scored well inside and got some big blocked shots.”
returned to the lineup after missing five games. Wilcox scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in 13-plus minutes. ... The Thunder scored 18 fast break points in the first half, zero in the second half. ... Carlesimo said it would be difficult to rotate five big men. Johan Petro
was the odd-man out, playing only nine minutes. ... The Thunder was 23-of-23 at the line... The biggest disparity was a 20-10 turnover difference.
BY MIKE BALDWIN