A season ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder got off to a decidedly slow start. After last night's stunning home loss to the Boston Celtics, the Thunder are off to their worst start in 11 years ... but OKC star Russell Westbrook is hardly about to panic over it.
With just over four minutes remaining in last night's game, Oklahoma City led Boston 94-85. They ended up falling 101-95 thanks to a 16-1 Celtics run that fueled the comeback win. OKC has struggled this season with offensive efficiency, ranking last in that department as well as in field goal percentage (39.1 percent), 3-point percentage (24.1 percent) and free-throw percentage (64.3 percent).
Westbrook had a rough finish last night, rushing a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left that would have broken a 95-95 tie and missing another 3-pointer with 26 seconds left that would have tied it at 98. Afterward, though, Westbrook wasn't about to panic over the team's 0-4 start to the season, writes Royce Young of ESPN.com.
"I take full responsibility regardless of what happened in the fourth," said Westbrook, who finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. "Miss or made shots, it's my responsibility to make sure we get a good one, and I take responsibility. It won't happen again; we on to the next.
"We're OK. We'll be all right. It's early. I'm confident in my guys in this locker room, I'm confident in myself and my abilities to make sure that we have an opportunity to win a ballgame. There's no need to panic. Obviously we're not starting the way we wanted to, but we'll be OK and I will make sure of that. So, not worried."
In 2017-18, OKC found itself at 4-7 after a loss to the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 9. A team meeting was held after that game and, by Christmas night, the Thunder were 20-15. No team meeting was held after Thursday's loss and OKC is keeping this slow start to the season in perspective.
"There’s 78 more [games]," said Thunder guard Paul George. "For us, it’s one game at a time. Tomorrow, we’re going to bury this game once we look at the film, and get ready for Phoenix. Just take it one day, one game at a time."
The Thunder host the Suns on Sunday (7 ET, NBA League Pass) in the first meeting of the season between the teams.