HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Derek Fisher cannot fix all of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s problems right now.
The veteran point guard will certainly help shore up whatever deficiencies they have in their backcourt rotation. But Fisher doesn’t have what it takes to help the Thunder solve their problems in the middle.
There’s no need to panic or anything, but the Thunder have been beaten up a bit inside — at least in their last five losses — and that includes the thumping they took last night in Utah.
As talented, skilled and tough as Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison and the rest of the Thunder frontcourt crew is, they have been vulnerable against opposing frontcourt players this season.
– Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap ransacked them last night for 36 points and 11 rebounds.
– In their loss to the Spurs, Tim Duncan finished with 16 points and a season-high 19 rebounds while DeJuan Blair smoked them for 22 points and 11 rebounds.
– In a loss to the Rockets rookie Chandler Parsons and Luis Scola worked them for 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
– Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison, Alonzo Gee and Ryan Hollins lit them up for 44 points and 22 rebounds.
– And the Hawks’ Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia shredded them for 40 points, 26 rebounds and Smith’s highlight mash over Ibaka at the rim.
Ibaka is as good a shot blocker as there is in the league right now. And no one has ever questioned the toughness of Perkins or Collison. But outside of the scoring Kevin Durant provides from his hybrid small forward/shooting guard spot on a nightly basis, the Thunder do not possess ability to truly challenge opposing frontcourt players on the offensive end.