clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: Struggling Thunder host scuffling Suns

New, comments

Both teams are mired in four game losing steaks and sit at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What: Phoenix Suns (1-4) at Oklahoma City Thunder (0-4)

When: Sunday, October 28th

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

Watch: Fox Sports AZ

Listen: AZ Sports Radio 98.7 FM

—————

Wednesday, October 17th.

It seems like an awful long time ago.

The Suns exploded for 38 fourth quarter points and surged ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for a 21 point win in their season opener.

Emotions ran high.

This season was going to be different.

Or not.

The four games since then has been a hot pile of garbage.

The Suns have lost by 28, 20, 18 and 21 points in those four games.

This marks the first time in franchise history that the Suns have lost four consecutive games by 18+ points. They had actually never done it in three consecutive games prior to this current puppet show.

In fact, according to basketball-reference.com, only two teams have ever had a longer stretch of such losses. In 1948 the Providence Steam Rollers lost five consecutive games by 18+ points and in 1970 the Cleveland Cavaliers did it six straight times.

That’s right, Suns fans, you’re watching history once again.

The latest stop on the “Why are we even watching this crap?” tour was a 117-96 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last night.

The glut of wings (Josh Jackson, Trevor Ariza, T.J. Warren and Mikal Bridges) combined to shoot 8-32 from the field. Jackson also sprinkled in seven turnovers. After a white hot start to the season, Warren has just 13 points total in the last two games.

DeAndre Ayton was impressive again, scoring 24 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists. He was also 12-13 from the field.

Pro tip for Coach Igor: When your team is struggling to score, you might want to draw up some plays to get more field goal attempts for the guy who is 12-13.

Ayton is practically the only bright spot of the season, everyone else has either been uneven or awful.

Here are a few more fun factoids in case you didn’t realize just how bad these last four games have been.

The Suns have been outscored 112-38 on fast break points during their four game skid.

The Suns now have the worst point differential in the league (-13.2). For reference, last season they were at -9.4 (worst in the league). However, through five games last season they were even worse (-16.2).

Devin Booker missed the game against the Grizzlies on Saturday with a strained hamstring and is listed as day-to-day.

The Thunder have had two days to rest after blowing a 16 point halftime lead in a loss to the Boston Celtics. Russell Westbrook was just 5-20 from the field with five turnovers in his second game back after missing the first two games of the season recovering from knee surgery.

Oklahoma City has been putrid on the offensive end this season and is dead last in the league in several categories including a pitiful 24.1% from three point range.

Paul George leads the Thunder with 24.5 points per game, but is shooting less than 37% from the field. Westbrook is averaging 22.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. Steven Adams is averaging 14.0 points and 12.3 rebounds.

New addition Dennis Schroder has been erratic and is averaging only 4.5 makes on 15 field goal attempts per game (that’s 30% if you’re keeping score). It seems interesting that a player like Schroder is averaging 15 shots a game while Ayton (62.8%) is only getting 11...

So this afternoon we will finally get an answer to the enduring question, “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”

Or in this case, “What happens when the league’s worst offense meets the league’s worst defense?”

Unfortunately, my guess is that OKC gets healthy feasting off a Suns team that is swirling down into a vortex of suck. If Booker is still out, which seems pretty likely to me, this one might get ugly.

Not to get too greedy by asking for a win, but a loss by less than 18 points would be nice.

Because if the Suns get steam rolled in this one they will be one step closer to a historic run of blowout losses.