The OKC Thunder did not make the NBA Playoffs after falling a game short in the NBA Play-In tournament. However, a lot of former Oklahoma City Thunder did grace the hardwood for their new squads during the opening round of the Playoffs.
The NBA postseason was already off to an intriguing start with the wild NBA Play-In tournament that eventually set the stage for the first round of the playoffs.
Russell Westbrook stole the show as we evaluate former OKC Thunder players in the NBA Playoffs this season.
L.A. Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns
Let’s tip off this first-round recap with the L.A. Clippers going toe-to-toe with the Phoenix Suns. Russell Westbrook had an eye-opening series where he won the hearts back of the NBA world. Westbrook posted nine points in game one in five games but had an epic defensive possession against Booker to secure a series-opening win for the Clippers. In game two, the former OKC star posted 28 points before going for 30 and 37 points in the next two games.
With Kawhi and Paul George injured, Westbrook carried the load but fell short in five games, scoring only 14 in the series finale. He averaged 23 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds for the series to go along with his block and steal per contest. Westbrook proved he will be in the league next year by shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc and 41 percent from the floor, which was only sometimes a certainty throughout the season.
The Suns earned the win in this series, led by former-Thunder players Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Cameron Payne, and Darius Bazley. Durant averaged 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists, a steal, and a block with 51/45/95 shooting splits. He finished off the Clippers with back-to-back 31-point outings.
Denver vs. Minnesota:
The Denver Nuggets made quick work of the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Jeff Green deserving the highlight despite only averaging three points, a rebound, and an assist Green played in all five games.
Sacramento vs. Golden State:
By far the best series of the first round, going the distance, the Thunder’s former players in this series struggled a bit, with Domantas Sabonis averaged 16 points, four assists, and 11 rebounds while shooting 49 percent from the floor and 20 percent from deep. Sabonis also racked up a steal and a block per tilt.
Memphis vs. L.A. Lakers:
The Lakers pulled off a first-round upset, knocking off Memphis in six games to advance to the second round. Dennis Schroder played in all six games, averaging four points, two assists, a rebound, and a steal per contest while shooting 36 percent from the floor and 22 percent from beyond the arc.
Bucks vs Heat
The Miami Heat pulled off a rare NBA feat, being an eighth seed to knock off the top-seeded Bucks. Jimmy Butler’s phenomenal series led them. The former Thunder standout, Victor Oladipo, only played in two games this series due to a devastating knee injury. In his two games, the former OKC Thunder guard averaged 11 points, three rebounds, an assist, and a steal per tilt.
Celtics vs. Hawks:
Despite some drama, the Boston Celtics beat the Hawks to advance to play the 76ers. Al Horford started all six games for Boston, posting five points, seven rebounds, three assists, a steal, and two blocks per game.
76ers vs. Nets:
The 76ers swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, led by former OKC Thunder star James Harden who averaged 17 points, five rebounds, eight assists, and a steal per game.
Cavs vs. Knicks:
None of the former OKC Thunder rostered on these teams played in this series that the Knicks wrestled control of.
Who was your favorite former OKC Thunder player to watch in the NBA postseason?