OKC Thunder versus the Denver Nuggets first round playoff series least desirable

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets drives against Steven Adams #12 of the OKC Thunder . (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets drives against Steven Adams #12 of the OKC Thunder . (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Question 21 of the OKC Thunder 30 for 30 roundtable series dives into what a playoff matchup versus the Denver Nuggets would entail.

As Thunderous Intentions reaches the final third of the 30 for 30 roundtable, the writing team explores another playoff series matchup. Question 21, looks at what an OKC Thunder series versus the Denver Nuggets would entail.

Specifically, the team isolates the areas of the game where the Thunder holds an advantage and alternatively what areas of the game the Nuggets would pose issues for OKC to address.

With that, I give you question 21 from the series…

Q21:  If the Thunder were to play the Nuggets in round one what are their greatest weaknesses and strengths versus Denver?

Shontelle Matano:

Going up against the dynamic duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray is going to be tough and could bring about a weakness for OKC especially with Jokic being as dominant as he is.

However, the last time the two sides went head to head OKC won comfortably. Steven Adams put up a monster performance and Chris Paul led the way with a superb scoring effort. So the Thunder will have strengths in both a solid paint presence as well as many scoring options led by the great CP3.

Matthew Hallett:

More from Thunderous Intentions

The two-headed center combination for the OKC Thunder is so potent both offensively and defensively, Nikola Jokic is going to struggle against both Nerlens Noel and Steven Adams in a playoff series.

Dustin McGowen:

OKC vs Denver would not be good for any of us that love the Thunder. That’s because Denver is about four years ahead of OKC In their rebuilding plan. The Nuggets are better at almost every position than the Thunder. I think that series would end in five games and it wouldn’t be pretty.

Tamberlyn Richardson:

Analysts predominantly cite either the Lakers or Clippers as the team expected to win the Western Conference. If the NBA returns to complete this campaign it’s unlikely teams will play all the games remaining on the schedule and its a possibility they jump directly into the playoffs.

Regardless of what scenario plays out the Thunder who is currently ranked fifth would likely avoid those LA teams until the second round.

Of all the other clubs OKC could face the Nuggets would be the worst matchup. Although they beat Denver in their last outing the Nuggets have owned OKC of late. Nikola Jokic is a nightmare for Steven Adams to deal with particularly offensively. Jamal Murray and Gary Harris are equally difficult matchups for the Thunder backcourt.

Two issues are the depth of the Nuggets bench and the defensive prowess of the Nuggets. While the Thunder personality is aligned to their leader Chris Paul, the Nuggets personality is very much akin to head coach Mike Malone. The bench boss is tough but creative and that permeates through their roster.

Jokic and Murray, in particular, are problematic, however, the Thunder clutch lineup will pose issues for Denver.  In this writer’s opinion, the Thunder has a much better shot of taking down the Rockets or Jazz.

Next. 30 x 30 roundtable Q20: How Jazz matchup vs. OKC in 1R series. dark

Monday the Thunderous Intentions writing team considers how the OKC Thunder would fare in a first-round series versus the Houston Rockets.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy day.