Shake it up? Carlesimo doesn't deny the idea
Following an ugly debut in which the Thunder trailed by 20 or more points for an extended period in the second half, coach P.J. Carlesimo hinted minutes in the foreseeable future will be earned.
“I’d like to watch more, but we can’t watch more of this,” Carlesimo said. “We may just have to make some decisions and kick some people out of the rotation and say, ‘These are the guys who are going to play for a while.’ Hopefully, they’ll play well. If not, someone else will get an opportunity.”
Carlesimo stressed that reserves played well (outscoring the starters 51 to 36), which could lead to changes in the starting lineup.
The Thunder was shooting 20.9 percent (5-of-24) midway through the second quarter. Milwaukee led 24-14 after one quarter, 36-20 midway through the second quarter.
“We got off to a nasty start and couldn’t get back into the game,” said Desmond Mason. “We missed some shots and had breakdowns on defense. We definitely need to learn from tonight. And our energy was a little off the first two quarters. When you get down 20 points, it takes a lot of energy to fight back.”
One of the Thunder’s biggest concerns is interior defense. That proved critical early in the game. Andrew Bogut scored “only” 14 points, but eight came in the first quarter. The Thunder made defensive adjustments, which helped set up Michael Redd, Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson.
“Andrew got them going early,” Carlesimo said. “He was too much for us. When we doubled him, they did a really good job moving the ball (to get open looks). They just out-executed us.”
Some Seattle fans, angry the team was moved to Oklahoma City, have put a curse on the Thunder because of “poor judgments by former owners, poor leadership by local officials and pure dishonesty by current ownership.