The OKC Thunder took a massive step forward a season ago, winning 16 games; after being projected to win just 25 games, the Thunder rattled off 40 victories to earn a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament. After downing the Pelicans in New Orleans, the Thunder finished a game shy of the NBA Playoffs.
On Thursday, the OKC Thunder faced the Detroit Pistons in a preseason tilt in Montreal, Canada. The Thunder dominated the game from the tip with their regular rotation before letting go of the rope with their reserves to fall late.
OKC Thunder continues to earn high praise, this time from Former Coach of the Year Monty Williams.
While their preseason record fell to 1-1, Monty Williams still was impressed by this young Oklahoma City Thunder squad. Monty Williams was part of a franchise turnaround with the Phoenix Suns, earning the coach of the year honor and being tabbed as one of the best coaches in the league during his Suns tenure.
Williams brought the Suns to the NBA Finals before the two sides elected to move on from one another this offseason. The former OKC Thunder assistant wasted no time returning to the game as the Pistons set out to win him over with a jaw-dropping offer. Mission accomplished as Williams became the highest-paid coach in the NBA.
Suffice to say, Monty Williams knows what it takes to get through the incredibly tough Western Conference, so his appraisal of the Thunder means a bit more.
Monty Williams was open about how loaded the Western Conference is top to bottom, and while this season will feature many peaks and valleys, the Pistons bench boss believes the OKC Thunder are “one of the best in the West.”
Williams turns in a record of 367-366, with a Western Conference Championship under his belt. If you only factor in his Suns tenure, that record improves to 194-115. Throughout his head coaching career, Williams has landed in the top ten in coach of the year voting three times, including back-to-back top two finishing in the 2020-21 and 2021-22, taking home the award at the end of the 2022 season.
As more and more people in and around the NBA continue to buy into the OKC Thunder, the weight of words from the coaches in this league really sticks out.