Kevin Durant says Thunder are undisciplined, fooling themselves
Kevin Durant on the Thunder: " If we just want to be a great team, the way we're playing, we're fooling ourselves."
On Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder gave up a second-half lead and lost to the Golden State Warriors in overtime. Then on Wednesday, the Thunder gave up a 17-point lead in the fourth and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Both games are discouraging losses and overall, the Thunder appear to be in a bit of funk right now. The Thunder have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games and just aren't looking like a legitimate contender like the Warriors and Spurs. And with another marquee matchup against Golden State on Thursday, the Thunder face yet another difficult challenge in such a short period of time.
Kevin Durant is remaining optimistic though but also questioned his team's discipline and overall focus after Wednesday's loss to the Clippers.
From ESPN's Royce Young:
"They made plays, we didn't," Durant said Wednesday night. "They were disciplined, we weren't. We want to be a great team. We're fooling ourselves. If we just want to be a great team, the way we're playing, we're fooling ourselves. We want to win a bunch of games in the regular season, that's cool, but we're fooling ourselves with the way we're playing."
"We lost a few games, lost some tough ones," Durant said. "But at the end of the day, we're playing basketball, something we love to do every single day. When you look at it like that, it's not as tough as you think. But losing does suck. And we hate losing. But at the end of the day, we're still in a good spot. We've just got to climb out of where we're at right now."
Asked whether a game like this serves as a wake-up call, Durant said the team should have had plenty of those already.
"Man, we've [already had] wake-up calls," he said. "We've already lost too many games we're supposed to win. We can't just keep talking about wake-up calls. We've got 20 games left. We can't have no wake-up calls at the end of the season.
"We've just got to be locked in from the beginning, from shootaround. You've got to think about the game of basketball, you've got to think about what you're going to do tonight from shootaround all the way to the end of the game. And if you don't do that, then talent is going to take over sometimes, but more times than not, the better teams are going to take advantage of that."
Said Durant: "You just go put it behind you, simple as that. We play tomorrow. I'm sure Coach is going to want to put in the film and all of this, and talk about this and talk about that. But it doesn't matter. We've got to dig down deep and stay disciplined, man. Throughout the whole game. And that's from the top to the bottom. Everybody. From the bench to the coaches to the players, everybody. We've just got to stick together and stay disciplined."
Durant is not singling anyone out here. He also played poorly against the Clippers, turning the ball over three times in the fourth quarter. Durant finished the game with six turnovers and shot 12-of-27 from the field and 3-of-12 from three. He had a double double of 30 points and 11 rebounds but his play in the fourth, negated most of his earlier performance. It was just a total team collapse, which according to ESPN Stats and Information, is the ninth time this season, the Thunder have given up a fourth quarter lead.
Despite the loss, Durant is right, the Thunder are "still in a good spot."
Oklahoma City is third in the West and have 1.5 game lead over the Clippers. With 21 games left in the season, if the Thunder become more disciplined as Durant says, they should be able to maintain their lead over the Clippers and finish as the third seed in the West. But with their recent play, that is looking like a big if. So now it is up to Thunder to finish the season strong and show that they are indeed a true championship contender.
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