After game 4 last night, the Thunder are staring at another first round exit from the playoffs as they are now down 3-1 and head back to Portland. Game 4 felt like a must-win and OKC did not get it done. In fact, they pretty much got dominated down the stretch.
Russell Westbrook had 1 point in the 2nd half after raising the stakes with his game 3 antics and performance. Oklahoma City has not been out of the first round since the 2016 season when they blew a 3-1 lead to the Warriors and Kevin Durant pulled the most noncompetitive move in the history of sports.
After game 5, assuming they lose because I have no reason to believe otherwise, they will easily be the team with the most talent that was sent home in the first round. This is a team who has seen it’s fair share of talent come and go and one has to wonder, did they make the right choice?
We’ve seen what James Harden has done since being traded.
Kevin Durant is Kevin Durant and Victor Oladipo was also traded away for the Paul George acquisition.
The blame can’t be put on one person here but we have to turn our attention to the guy that has been the focal point of every off-season move.
That’s Russell Westbrook.
Yes, he’s averaged a triple double 3 seasons in a row. Yes, he is one of the most athletic players in the NBA. Yes, he’s also the guy who scored 1 point in the 2nd half last night and continued to play the same way he often does in shooting slumps. Relentless.
This is a shooter’s league now and as good as Westbrook is, he is not a shooter. In fact, one could argue his shooting has become progressively worse through the years, not better. His game doesn’t translate well to playoff basketball and OKC needs to be asking themselves in the upcoming off-season if they chose the right guy, and if not, now what?