The other shoe is not dropping on the OKC Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder sit at 23-24, a win away from .500 and a win away from making their win total of the previous two seasons. While we all sit around and wonder “When is the other shoe going to drop?” The OKC Thunder keep winning.

What a season this has been. When it started, the National Media projected this Thunder team to win 20 games, 18 in some places, and lead the way for the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. They have been called the black eye of the league, Sam Presti’s job has been called into question by those on the outside, and pretty much everything short of folding the franchise as a whole has been brought up.

Now, the Oklahoma City Thunder has caught fire, winning seven of their last ten games, including massive road wins, protecting their home court to the tune of a 14-9 record, and beating Championship caliber teams a lot the way as the team is tied for a play-in spot and just a game away from the 6th seed in the Western Conference.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are playing winning basketball, knocking off the Nuggets in Denver, and the other shoe is just not dropping on the OKC Thunder

Along the way, everyone both locally and nationally has been waiting on the other shoe to drop. “Well, this trip out East will be tough and define the season!” All they did was beat three of the four best teams out East and were a point away from going 4-0 on the trip. They lost to the Heat, beat the fully healthy 76ers, beat the Chicago Bulls the very next night, and grinded out a Win in Brooklyn.

Fine, but what about the Indiana Pacers at home after a big road stretch? Trap game? A young team that is overlooking a spunky Pacers squad without Tyrese Haliburton? Nope, OKC took care of business with a dominating win.

Ah ha! This is it! The first road trip out west to the Pacific time zone! Playing the red-hot Sacramento Kings in Sactown, they will light the Beam, the Nuggets in Denver who are riding a nine-game winning streak, and the OKC Thunder will get swept!

Well, despite a heartbreaking loss to the Kings, when man Thunder fans jumped ship from the playoff chances, the Thunder rallied to beat the Nuggets in Denver with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander staring for 34 points including a game-winner, and Lu Dort made life difficult on Jamal Murray forcing a miss in the tying attempt.

Still, we look ahead to this stretch: vs Hawks, vs Cavs, vs Warriors as a possible season-defining stretch.

Even if they clear that hurdle, this is what people will hold up, the pre-All-Star break schedule: @ Rockets, vs Rockets, @ Warriors, @ Lakers, @ Trailblazers, vs Pelicans, vs Rockets before sending Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to Salt Lake City for his first All-Star appearance.

At some point, we just have to admit this team is a play-in caliber squad. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a star, Josh Giddey is playing like one for an over 20-game sample size, Jalen Williams is making a winning impact as a rookie, Lu Dort provides a boost to pioneer a top-ten defense, Kenrich Williams is playing the best basketball of his career, and Isaiah Joe is one of the best signings in Thunder history. 

Each Sunday Night, myself, fellow media members, and fans all look back on the week of Thunder basketball that was and say “Wow, that was better than expected.” as they keep stacking those types of weeks onto each other, it is time to just all of us to let them declare themselves as a playoff caliber team without freaking out of a potential pivot with each loss or game they will not be favored in on paper.

dark. Next. The Vibes around the OKC Thunder are immaculate