As the OKC Thunder players head out for the All-Star break we send out our thanks for a great season to date and our wishes for a relaxing break.
The OKC Thunder enter the All-Star break having completed 55 games and sporting a 33-22 record. It’s been one of the most enjoyable seasons on record and one full of surprises.
The departure of Kevin Durant will never sit well in OKC, especially when the former Thunder star can’t seem to let sleeping dogs lie.
Losing Paul George a year after he re-signed stung and for some left a bad taste. Witnessing how many games he’s been unavailable this season for the Clippers (including his departure from the Boston Celtics match to close out the games prior to the break) does summon the question of how this year’s Thunder squad would be doing had he not demanded a trade to the Clippers this offseason. Would OKC even be a playoff seed?
The fan base, for the most part, will always keep an eye on Russell Westbrook wishing the best for him. After all, there isn’t more than a handful of players (and arguably no superstars) who play every game with 100 percent dedication to every second played.
Having to watch the Brodie in Rockets red will never feel right but we’ll cross our fingers for his success and we’ll always wish him the best especially if OKC is out of the mix, (even if those Rockets are a team we simply can’t root for 😉).
To that end, the complete abandonment of typical basketball in favor of 48 minutes of small ball sure is interesting. But, come the playoffs it’s success feels less certain. In fact, there are likely many in Thunder Nation hoping they end up being the first round matchup for OKC. In this scenario, the Thunder athleticism, defense, and size matchup well and could potentially be the best opportunity for the Thunder to move on to the second round.
As the OKC Thunder departs on their week-long sojourn we send them off with wishes for a relaxing holiday in which they can clear their minds and heal those nagging injuries.
OKC enters the break as the Western Conference sixth seed. When they return there will be 27 games remaining.
A few goals will be on tap as the team returns.
Although it won’t be the main goal trying to tiptoe the line of staying 11th in the league overall is sort of a silent goal. If OKC can stay 11th they’ll maintain a good playoff seed and be able to retain their first round pick. Finishing 10th or higher and the pick will be conveyed to the 76ers.
That said the priority of the team will be to build momentum through to season end tweaking minor issues (first and third quarter starts) along the way.
More from Thunderous Intentions
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- OKC Thunder: 3 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sidekicks to consider trading for
- OKC Thunder: Stat highlights Luguentz Dort, Hamidou Diallo defensive prowess
And, staying healthy is key. Through 55 games although there were a few injuries, for the most part, the team has avoided anything major.
This iteration of the Thunder has delivered plenty of excitement through 55 games and possibly more clutch time wins in one season than the entire duration of the franchise.
The renaissance of Chris Paul and resurrection of his still lit game is one of the feel good stories of the season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has inexplicably and seamlessly erased all those sad feelings of having to wave goodbye to Russ. Danilo Gallinari has reminded even the biggest hoop heads in the group there are hidden gems in the NBA that you’ll miss if not paying careful attention.
Dennis Schroder is living up to the potential even his biggest fans didn’t see coming. Steven Adams remains someone who does all the dirty work without fanfare but manages to keep us all laughing. And youngsters like Lu Dort and Darius Bazley remind of the exciting horizon with the bright future.
It sure has been fun being a Thunder fan this season and we’re thankful to the clutch time crew who keep bringing it night in and night out.
So Thunderous Intentions send out our wishes for each member on the team to enjoy this brief respite. Thank you for serving up one of the most enjoyable pre All-Star break segments in franchise history – this final stretch run is going to be fun!
Happy Valentine’s Day and All-Star Weekend fans!