5 reasons the Thunder will win the 2024 NBA Championship

Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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3. Bench Depth

When talking to casual NBA fans, they’ll know the names Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and, of course, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Thunder are so much more than just a three-man team, however.

All five starters are significant contributors and their bench might just be the best in the league.

The Thunder have found guys who fit their squad to a tee -- that’s why their game runs so smoothly even with four starters out of the game.

Let’s take a guy like Kenrich Williams, dubbed “Kenny Hustle” by fans because his effort never dips from 100 percent. He plays small ball center for OKC and will hit the deck for any loose ball. Energy guys like that keep the team involved for all 48 minutes.

When looking at per 36 statistics, Oklahoma City has three guys in the top 10 for charges drawn. Jaylin Williams, Isaiah Joe, and Kenrich Williams all come off the bench and put their bodies on the line for turnovers. That is effort that cannot be taught.

Jaylin Williams is never afraid to let it fly from deep, forcing teams to keep him honest from three-point land. His former high school teammate Isaiah Joe also likes to shoot and averages a 41 percent conversion rate from long range this season.

Chet Holmgren draws much of the attention from the Thunder rookie class, but what Cason Wallace is doing this season cannot go unnoticed. The Kentucky guard is shooting 50 percent from the field and 42 percent from the deep.

Numbers like this in his first season give many fans hope for a strong career in the league. He is also a menace on the defensive end, with 13 multi-steal games.

Aaron Wiggins is constantly sprinting up and down the court, cutting at the perfect time and tiring out defenders. He doesn’t have the largest role on the team but that goes to show you how strong this bench really is. The 10th man on the team is more than capable of giving defenses fits.

The biggest name on the Oklahoma City bench is their trade deadline acquisition Gordon Hayward. It is obvious that he is still getting accustomed to the Thunder’s style of play, but it is well documented the impact he can make.

He brings good veteran leadership to the team and rounds out the dominant bench of OKC.