In a game that saw Paul George return to the place he once said he was “here to stay” (yes, I’m salty…y’all should have booed that man), the Thunder showed up and showed out. Scoring 61 second half points, including 16 4th quarter points from Dennis Schroeder, the Thunder looked fearless and that’s what helped them take down a contending team like the Clippers. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had another big game with 32 points. Schroeder added 28 And my boy Steve-O…20 points, 17 boards and 3 steals. I told y’all, give the man 12-15 shots and he’s gonna give good numbers. Anyway…let’s get to these facts.
- CP3 is perfectly fine with deferring to SGA
One thing I was particularly excited about when the trades went down was the opportunity for SGA to learn from Chris Paul. For a bit it seemed as though CP3 was going to have to control the offense and to a point that might still be true. However, the last two games showed something that Paul’s time in Houston did not: Chris Paul is now handing over the keys and is comfortable being option 2. Gilgeous-Alexander is being mentored by one of the greatest guards of this generation and within a couple years, SGA will be a problem for the league.
- OKC could have a top 10 defense…if they played consistently
The Thunder have one of the most fearless team in the league. They don’t look timid when they play against anybody. They look confident in almost every area of the game. However, defense is when they sometimes don’t look so confident. When they play confident, Steven Adams looks like one of the most dominant big men in the game, Chris Paul plays like he knows he’s still a top 5 point guard and Ferguson can go 0/4 and still be plus 17 because of his defensive abilities. Now if they play like this consistently, they will go from 14th to 7-10th defensively.
- These guys have no fear
OKC’s biggest competition are the guys who wear jersey’s with “Thunder” on the front. They say that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of fight in the dog. And that is the Thunder’s biggest weapon. They’re fearless and never back down. That’s the pride of this team, their tenacity and mindset that they can play with any team on any given day. Last night they faced one of the giants in the Western Conference and didn’t bend. That’s what will push the Thunder towards and in the playoffs.
- This is one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA
Remember that sky is falling feeling after both Russ AND PG left within a week of each other? It was one of the most empty feelings for Oklahoma City since the summer of 2016 (we don’t have to go into detail). Fans haven’t been this excited in a long time to watch Thunder basketball. The love in the arena rivals that of the Thunder’s inaugural season in OKC. Within the last week the Thunder have erased 26, 24 and 16 point deficits and gone over .500 while doing so. It’s fun and so refreshing to see the men on the court night in and night out fighting for not only their pride, but the pride of a city that is still supporting.
- 15-14 for this team means more than it would for any other team
Now on a four game win streak, OKC is 3 games shy of taking 6th place in the West. We all know how important the months of January and February are for playoff ready teams. Sitting at 15-14 would look laughable for teams expected to be in the playoffs. However for those like the Thunder, a team currently shocking the basketball world, this record means everything. It means they are proving everyone wrong and having fun while doing it. If there was ever a team that could shock the world, THIS could be the team to do it.
The Memphis Grizzlies are back in town on Thursday the 26th for a rematch. I’m sure rookie sensation Ja Morant and company will be eager for another shot at the Thunder. Check back for more facts.