Oklahoma City Thunder hold team meeting after loss in Denver
From NBA media reports
The last time the Oklahoma City Thunder won a game, it was Halloween. To date, they have lost four in a row and five of their last seven games after Thursday’s 102-94 defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. After the game — which dropped OKC to 0-6 this season vs. other Western Conference teams — reporters had to wait a while to talk to players and coaches.
It took the OKC Thunder 36 minutes after the game ended to open the lockerroom to media. Team held a discussion after losing 4 straight.
— Ros Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) November 10, 2017
That’s because the Thunder held a roughly 30-to 35-minute meeting discussing what has ailed them of late. Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript was on hand and says morale is still high, but the frustration level is rising:
“You have to talk about it. You have to look at it. You have to be up front with everybody,” Carmelo Anthony said. “Everybody’s got to be held accountable for what’s going on.”
The 7-5 Nuggets are a talented team, a playoff contender at worst. And Denver is never an easy place to play. But in yet another Thunder loss, it’s the how; it’s the process, not the result.
The Thunder let go of an 18-point lead to the Boston Celtics this past Friday. They followed with an energy-searching loss at the Portland Trail Blazers. Next was a disappointing defeat at the hands of the three-win Sacramento Kings. And now, this one, which leaves them with as many late-game questions as they had going into it.
What they’re hoping is that conversation can lead to progress.
“Meetings just make sure we all stay together no matter what,” point guard Raymond Felton said. “Everybody said their peace. Coach said his peace … Right now, we going through something, and we got to stick together no matter what.”
Pinpointing the issue — whether it’s lack of adjustments after the first quarter, a lack of ball-movement or something else — has become the task at hand for OKC now. That’s the takeaway Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman had after the game:
“It was just good to get everything out on the table,” said forward Paul George, who had 13. “Especially where we’re at right now, it’s no good if we’re bottling it up. Because then we could carry it over to the next game and the next game. Just leave everything out in the open.”
“It’s no frustration,” forward Carmelo Anthony said, though that might not be entirely true.
“I don’t think it’s frustration among ourselves,” Felton said. “It’s just frustration about losing. We got a lot of guys who hate to lose, a lot of guys who are big competitors. That’s a good spirit to have. I’ll take that all day. If we’re not frustrated, then that’s a big problem.”
“Obviously every year, every season you go through adversity,” Russell Westbrook said. “Right now we’re going through ours.”
* * *