The Thunder are a far better coached team than we are. And there is no way they've got more talent than us or anything close to our roster consistency either. There's so many little things going on that have nothing to do with the roster imbalance that all happen on a nightly basis. Let me ramble:
- One night our second best scorer gets 2 shots in a whole half of basketball, the next he's completely out of control for 3 quarters and can't even get plays where he's put in advantageous position against a rookie PG known for bad defense.
- We get our best pick setting big back - but he rarely if ever is used in a way where he effectively screens people off the ball which would be great in setting up Hayward early.
- Devonte is regularly less-than-value-added with how he's allowed to toss out grenades at will and launch bad shots without so much as attempting to probe the defense.
- We are allergic to the baseline.
- We've replaced the early season over reliance on a switch-heavy defense from last year that doesn't compliment the roster to a zone heavy defense that is even worse.
- We were able to trap effectively at half court last year but somehow that's morphed into a press that primarily gets thrown out when its clear that faith in our defense has waned for the night.
- Players are not only put in bad positions where they can't succeed due to mismatches (our wings/guards get forced into guarding bigs far too often) but they're also put in situations where they're unable to make the most out of a gameplan due to the rotation (asking Miles to be some sort of passing facilitator when our offense lacks a general consistent motion so no passing lanes even exist in the first place ie again - we don't use the baseline enough for high post actions to carry the usual impact). It hurts their consistency. A lot.
- We've opted for playing inconsistent wings/guards instead of the bigs - which I would understand if those wings/guards didn't further complicate an already friction filled rotation.
- Lamelo gets put into the 3 guard rotation, but is somehow *not* the guy running it when both Graham and Rozier should obviously seem to be the scorers in that situation.
- Not realizing or communicating we have fouls to give late and waiting too long for timeouts.
- We've yet to adjust to teams forcing us into a bad predicaments with Biz (and now Cody.
- We've yet to adjust to teams casually shootings 3s as our zone gets exploited.
- We've yet to adjust to teams passing the ball one time and getting a straight line drive for their troubles.
And of course my latest grievance, how he's not consistent correcting/benching/encouraging players, how he keeps starters in games that are long over with (and I HOPE that isn't to keep these margins more pleasant than they actually are), and how he's slow to accept the necessity of long term coaching decisions (Ball and Hayward are playing together more now but we need way more packages there.... way more).
To top things off, this is a low expectation year and I think we're all on the same page with that.
But there are low expectations and bare, acceptable minimums as well. I don't mind an L. I do mind repeat Ls of the same kind.