The Oklahoma City Thunder started the season 0-4. This included losses to the Warriors, Clippers, Kings, and Celtics. The Thunder hoped that they could have at least gone 2-2 over the first four games. In retrospect, judging by the current records of the Kings and Clippers, those games were more difficult than first expected. After that start, the Thunder were able to put together an impressive run of seven wins in a row. Some of those wins come against the Clippers, Pelicans, and the Rockets. Their winning streak was finally snapped on November 10th against the Mavericks.
Oklahoma City Thunder Able To Rebound After 0-4 Start
0-4 Start to the Season
The failed experiment of last season led to the Thunder parting ways with Carmelo Anthony. In a surprising move, Paul George agreed to re-sign with the Thunder over the off-season. Russell Westbrook was unable to play the first two games of the season. This culminated with the Kings game, being the first game with their full roster available. They lost that game 131-120. Westbrook and George had 32 and 29 points respectively. De’Aaron Fox and Iman Shumpert had 22 and 26 points respectively.
The problem for the Thunder this game mainly revolved around the three-point line. The Thunder gave up 45.5 percent shooting from the three-point line. This occurred while the Thunder were shooting only 23.2% percent from the three. Shooting is still a huge problem for the Thunder. The team three-point percentage for the season is only 28.8%. In today’s NBA, a team that can not shoot the three ball is going to be left behind.
They lost the next game after the Kings matchup, which left them at 0-4 to start the season. In any other NBA season, this speedbump would have been no cause for alarm. However, the Western Conference has been exceptionally difficult this season. Teams have surpassed their expectations so far. At the moment 11 of the 15 teams in the western conference are .500 or above. These losses might come back to haunt the Thunder when playoff seeds are being finalized.
The Winning Streak
After that 0-4 start, The Thunder proceeded to go on a seven-game winning streak. The most impressive of the wins were against the Clippers and the Rockets. The Thunder defeated each team by an average of 12 points in that winning streak. The streak was then ended by the Mavericks. As of November 14th, the Thunder are 8-5. They gained some ground on the other teams in the Western Conference. They sit at the fifth seed right now. The teams in front of the Thunder in order are the Warriors, Trailblazers, Nuggets and Clippers.
The two of the top six teams that are the most likely to fall out are the Grizzlies and the Spurs. With that being said, two teams that are expected to take those spots are the Rockets and Timberwolves. At this point in the season, the only thing given is that Golden State is taking the number one seed. Every game matters in the Western Conference. A loss or two could mean the difference between home-court advantage in the playoffs at the end of the regular season.