Bucking Broncho: Thunder’s Time to Strike
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives around Philadelphia 76ers guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Last week in Oklahoma the weather was all over the place with the sun being out and shining, to the next it raining and then it sleeting and snowing, but that’s how Oklahoma weather is always changing. There is no better way to describe the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season.
The team has had its high’s this season like having Russell Westbrook and Paul George be All-Stars. Oklahoma City has mark-key wins already against the Rockets, Cavs, Raptors, Spurs, and Warriors all teams that have a better record than them. The Thunder has also gone on an eight-game winning streak this season that shows they have it in them to make a run.
With all that being said the Thunder have also seen their lows this year. For example,losing starting shooting guard Andre Roberson due to injury and having as many bad losses as good wins to teams like the Suns, Kings, Mavericks, Nets, and Magic.
The Thunder now sit seventh in the western conference being two games behind the Spurs at third, but they are a game and a half ahead of the Clippers at ninth. This is the best opportunity the team will have to be able to give themselves some wiggle room in the standings. Other Western conference teams are going through their toughest time of the season.
First place Northwest division rival the Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler is out for four-to-six weeks due to an injury, which could cause the Timberwolves to lose games down the stretch sliding them down the playoff standings. Other conference rivals are also missing star players due to injury like the Spurs with Kawhi Leonard, who has been cleared to play, but is still on injured reserve and the Pelicans’ Demarcus Cousins, who is out for the year.
The biggest thing the Thunder has for them to ignite a winning streak is their favorable schedule. This week the Thunder play the Magic, Mavs, Suns, and Trailblazers with Portland having the only winning record. The games this week can be labeled revenge games for the Thunder since they are one-and-six against them this year. An undefeated week for the Thunder would put them the most games over .500 they have been at this season. Six of the next Oklahoma City’s nine games are against teams with losing records.
The Thunder need to start winning against losing teams now before they hit the back half of their schedule in March, where they play seven straight teams with winning records.
Oklahoma City plays three of there most important games of the season in March against Northwest division rivals the Nuggets and Trailblazers. The Thunder need to win all three games to help their odds of winning their division. They have lost both games to the Trailblazers this season and are one and two against the Nuggets. If the Thunder want to host a playoff series they will need to win those games to help strengthen their odds.
The Thunder may not want to motto themselves after the states weather, but they might want to be like Sooners in the Oklahoma Land run and get off to a fast start in March.