Team meetings rarely solve problems. They let players and coaches vent, it can help clear the air, but most of the time they don't translate to much on the court.
We'll see if the slow-starting Oklahoma City Thunder change that dynamic.
Thursday night, after blowing an 18-point lead and falling to the Denver Nuggets due to another terrible fourth quarter performance, the team held a closed-door meeting, reports Fred Katz of the Norman-Transcript.
In the fourth quarter Thursday night, the Thunder shot 38 percent while allowing the Nuggets to hit 53 percent. Throughout the game (and the season) it felt like the Thunder's big three - Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony - were just taking turns, not working and playing in an offense or off each other. Then in the fourth it was all Westbrook, he was 1-of-6 in the fourth, while Paul George got just one shot in the final 12 minutes. Westbrook was 6-of-22 on the night, and in the fourth he took some difficult shots.
The Thunder make the fewest passes per game of any team in the league, and they get the more of their offense out of isolation than any team. As noted by Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver, OKC now has just three assisted field goals in the final five minutes of a game within five points all season. Meanwhile their defense struggles in the clutch as well.
OKC needs to figure out how to get this together, because it's highly unlikely this roster is back in this form next season (George is a free agent, and if he stays and 'Melo opts in the tax bill becomes so ridiculous there is no chance the small market Thunder will pay it, no matter what owner Clay Bennett says publicly). They need to get it together sooner rather than later.