ESPN2 commentator Skip Bayless was quick to cite the Thunder’s 92-77 loss Monday night at the Staples Center as an example as why he thinks the Thunder won’t win the NBA championship this season.
Asked if the loss was a big deal or not on ESPN2’s “First Take” Tuesday morning, Bayless said it was a big deal.
“I don’t even care if it was the Clippers who recently beat the Thunder at Oklahoma City. This is what I don’t like about the Thunder team. What you saw last night is why the Thunder will lose a playoff series. This will happen in a Game 6 or a Game 7. They live and die by the jump shot, too often 3-point jump shots.
“Last night (Kevin) Durant, my favorite player, and (Russell) Westbrook, my least favorite player, combined to go 1 for 12 from 3 — 1 for 12 from 3, you’re probably going to lose.
“After leading at halftime, those two players — they’re supremely talented players, I love Westbrook’s explosiveness — combined to score zero points in the third quarter. What do you think is going to happen then? The home team’s going to pull away in that game.
“In this instance, we have Durant taking a few more shots but it was because Westbrook was so cold, 4 out of 16 from the field. It will happen. He will have one of those nights when he just can’t throw it in the ocean.
“Oklahoma City lost the second half of the game 49-25. They totaled 12 assist. This is my issue with the Thunder. Your point guard Westbrook totaled 3 assists. They relied on playing one-on-one and jump shooting. If your shots don’t fall, you’re in trouble.”
“First Take” analyst Rob Parker didn’t think the loss was a big deal, calling it just one of those games. “You’re going to have those kind of nights. I’m not that concerned,” he said. “The
Clippers are coming on. They got the Thunder on a bad night.”