Predicting the OKC Thunder’s March Schedule

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The month of February was certainly a month to remember for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sure, they have had more successful months record-wise, but the combination of on-court success and a big trade made this a month Thunder fans will remember for a long time.

On Feb. 19, the Thunder finally moved a disgruntled Reggie Jackson; center Kendrick Perkins Grant Jarrett, the draft rights to Tibor Pleiss and a protected 2017 first-round pick. Jackson went to the Detroit Pistons, and the rest of Oklahoma City’s players and the pick went to the Utah Jazz. In return, the Thunder received Enes Kanter, D.J. Augustin, and a 2019 second-round draft pick from the Jazz, as well as D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler from the Pistons.

Despite the roster turnover, the Thunder compiled a 9-3 record (just one game off from the record I predicted) and coach Scott Brooks won Western Conference Coach of the Month.

But, injuries continued to decimate the Thunder’s roster. Steven Adams suffered a stress fracture in the fourth metacarpal of his right hand on February 8 against the Clippers.

But, according to Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman, Adams participated in practice Tuesday with a right hand brace, and should return to the lineup soonKevin Durant has been out a few weeks after a screw in his surgically repaired foot was causing him discomfort. He had a minor surgical procedure to fix the screw, but general manager Sam Presti insists the fracture is healing fine.      

Russell Westbrook fractured his zygomatic arch in the closing seconds of the Thunder’s loss at Portland. Westbrook missed just one game, and he will play against Philadelphia Wednesday night. Even though he ended the month with another surgery, Westbrook had the best month of his career.

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With Durant out in-and-out of the lineup, it was up to Westbrook to lead then Thunder, and did he ever. In February, he averaged 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds per game with a player efficiency rating (PER) of 34.6. Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only other player to average 30/10/9 in a calendar month. With his historic month, he has even gotten some national love in the Most Valuable Player race.

"Last night, @TheJetOnTNT gave high praise to @russwest44. Agree? — NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 27, 2015"

Currently, the Thunder is one game up on the Pelicans for the eighth seed, and 3.5 games back of the Spurs for the seventh seed, and they still play twice. Like February, every game in March will be crucial for the Thunder’s playoff chances and positioning. Last month, I predicted the Thunder’s February record here, and I finished just one game off. In March, the Thunder have another big opportunity to tally some wins thanks to a home-heavy schedule.   Lets take a look at OKC’s month ahead.

Next: Week 1