MEMPHIS – The thunder was standing around us as Memphis was coming out of the clock. He had lost a lot of games since the All-Star break, but he had rarely reached the point where he had at least had a chance to fight to the end.
The 115-103 Thunder loss to FedExForum on Monday did not move the Thunder (43-31) from fifth to eighth in the Western Conference standings. OFC did not lose its fifth defeat in six games. He rewrote the Thunder's last win, a stunner in Toronto on Friday to break a four-game losing streak. Was this a turning point after all?
"I do not think there can be any excuses to have two days between the game in Toronto (and tonight)," said Thunder's coach, Billy Donovan. "As a coach, having two days like this, you can try to prepare yourself for what you're going through and build on what happened in Toronto. just did not do the work necessary to get them ready to play. "
The Thunder, in the middle of a close battle of the Western Conference for the playoffs, had something to play. Apart from Andre Roberson, left knee injured for over a year, he was at full force. The Grizzlies did not have any of these things in their favor.
Memphis (30-44) was a long way from the playoff picture. He canceled his roster on the trade deadline and has since suffered a series of injuries to key players. On Monday, the Grizzlies had six players on their wounded list.
"If you want to be a great team," Donovan said, "the only thing that does not allow excellence is inconsistency."
The thunder was inconsistent even in the things that it does best. Take notes in transition, for example.
The Thunder had enlightened the team that had beaten the Raptors in Toronto three nights before. In the last possession of the Thunder in the first half, Dennis Schroder smiled even before the ball touched his hands. It did not matter that Paul George – the teammate he was about to pass – was a part of two fast rapids that had gone wrong in the same period. Schroder looked like a bucket was coming.