How high can OKC Thunder move up NBA standings in Orlando?

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder drives around Dante Exum #11 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder drives around Dante Exum #11 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
1 of 5
OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder: Steven Adams #12 guards Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz during an opening night game (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

How high can OKC Thunder climb in Western Conference standings in eight games?

Now that the NBA has a plan in place to resume the season the OKC Thunder can dial up their preparation for July 31st. The NBA Board of Governors voted 29-1 to approve the 22 team format and the National Basketball Players Association added their stamp with the caveat minor tweaks will be necessary.

In terms of preparation for the return, most Thunder players either stayed in OKC or have returned already. They are working out at the Thunder Ion in small groups and will ramp up efforts as the team builds toward a June 30th training camp.

Details on if teams can start adding coaches remain unknown but with other leagues allowing coaches back presumably, that will be the next step in the process.

OKC Thunder could vault up standings in Orlando:

As of the season suspension, the Thunder sat on the fifth rung in the West a single game back of the Jazz.  Knowing there will be eight games to play to finish the season the big question facing the OKC Thunder is how high they can climb up the standings.

A full view of the West finds the Los Angeles Lakers seeded atop the conference with no reason to believe they can be caught. LeBron James and cohorts hold a 5.5 game lead over their nearest opponents the LA Clippers and are out of reach of the Thunder who trail them by 9.5 games.

The most compelling group features the second through sixth seeds who have the greatest potential to shift order in the final eight games of the regular season. These five squads are separated by four games with four of the teams within 2.5 games of each other.

  • LA Clippers – second (+4.0)
  • Denver Nuggets  – third (+2.5)
  • Utah Jazz – fourth (+1.0)
  • OKC Thunder – fifth
  • Houston Rockets – sixth (even)

Notes: the bracketed number denotes how many games the OKC Thunder are behind. The Rockets and Thunder have identical records but OKC owns the tiebreak having won the season series 2-1. Therefore, the focus of this article will be on the three teams ahead of the Thunder.

With that let’s dive into each of the teams, the Thunder could pass to climb the standings in Orlando.