The Oklahoma City Thunder have started their season with a 6-8 record through their first 14 games. At a glance, there are more than enough errors that could leave the Thunder with a .500 record, or even a winning record.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has also seemed to have skipped the All-Star leap, and decided he wants to make an All-NBA team. He hinted at a big season during the final stretch of last season, and he’s not yet disappointed this season. He’s scored 37 points in back to back games, and he’s putting together a near-MVP season, without the wins.
With the superstar’s play, offensive woes from the rest of the squad were hidden, and before they caught too much attention, they turned it around and the team has been electric on that side of the ball in their last three games.
Josh Giddey and Lu Dort are supposed to be a big help for Gilgeous-Alexander. They’ve taken their step forward, and they’ll continue to improve after a not-so-great start to their season.
When young teams, like the Thunder who are the youngest team in the league, take the next step in their rebuild, there’s an energy around the squad. Think of the Phoenix Suns in the bubble. The Memphis Grizzlies first year racking up some wins to make the playoffs.
That’s where this Thunder team **could** be this season. A bottom of the playoffs (or play-in) while having great energy. Those teams featured Devin Booker and Ja Morant taking their respective leaps, like we’re seeing from Gilgeous-Alexander. Also other young bucks are stepping up and showing their potential for next season. The team is deep with talented, young players.
Nonetheless, the Thunder fit the mold of a young team entering the next phase of their rebuild, and this season could prove an exciting jump. They seem to pick up a new swagger, and with SGA playing lights out, Giddey babying smaller guards, etc., we could have some quite exciting moments come from this season.
(Also, don’t forget the Thunder will have a Chet-sized hole filled next season.)