The Oklahoma City Thunder might have entered the 2019-20 NBA regular season as something of a curiosity, but after two thirds of action, Chris Paul and his band of merry mates is anything but a curiosity. No, the Thunder have far surpassed expectations and have been so consistently solid that they can’t even be labeled a bunch of overachievers. Here’s an overview of the Oklahoma City Thunder 2020 season so far with NBA Odds and NBA Championship Odds.
With the 2019-20 regular season on hiatus because of the current covid-19 pandemic that is sweeping the nation, Oklahoma City’s postseason plans have been put on indefinite hold. Still, let’s find out how the Thunder have fared this season and what could potentially lie ahead if and when the current NBA campaign does resume.
Oklahoma City Thunder Offensive Analysis
Oklahoma City has gone 40-24 through 64 games while ranking 19th in scoring (110.8 ppg) and 18th in three-point shooting percentage (35.5%), but the Thunder also rank an impressive fifth in field goal shooting percentage (47.3%). Athletic young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging a team-high 19.3 points per game while Danilo Galinari is adding 19.0 points per contest. Veteran floor leaders Dennis Schroeder and Chris Paul are contributing 19.0 and 17.7 points per game respectively.
Oklahoma City Thunder Defensive Analysis
The Thunder rank a solid 10th in points allowed (108.3 ppg), 13th in field goal shooting defense (45.6%) and a stellar fifth in three-point field goal defense (34.4%). Veteran centers Nerlens Noel and Steven Adams average 1.5 and 1.1 blocks per game respectively.
Oklahoma City Thunder Offseason Movements
Signed C Justin Patton. Waived F Patrick Patterson. Waived F Donte Grantham. Traded F Paul George to the L.A. Clippers for G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, F Danilo Gallinari and first-round draft picks from 2021-24 and 2026. Signed F Markieff Morris.
Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction
While the Thunder have undeniably been one of the most pleasant surprises in the league this season and have the look of a ballclub that is quite capable of pulling off an upset (or two?) in the playoffs, there’s one big reason why Oklahoma City won’t be able to get past the Clippers and Lakers, first and foremost and that’s a lack of quality big men.
The Thunder are a perimeter-oriented team whose top four scorers are three point guards, (SGA, CP3 and Dennis Schroeder) and a sweet-shooting small forward (Danilo Galinari). Veteran center Steven Adams clearly has some big-time potential, but the Thunder don’t really feature him on offense and everything he puts on the board is usually the result of a putback off a rebound. Fellow big man Nerlens Noel is simply a defensive presence whose offensive game is severely limited.
In essence, I can see Oklahoma City beating just about any rival in the Western Conference except the Clips, Lakers and a Denver Nuggets team that also looks like they have a big advantage in the frontcourt. If or when play does resume, you can expect to see some more fun-filled and competitive basketball from the Oklahoma City Thunder.