The Oklahoma City Thunder have had it rough so far this season. They have not had a consistent starting lineup or bench lineup due to the injury bug lingering the team.
Despite the adversity, the Thunder have faced they remain as one of the top dog teams in the league. They possess one of the most efficient defenses in the NBA and for a brief moment were tied for the No. 1 seed of the Western Conference. So how are they performing almost a quarter through the season?
Don’t hate on the Schrödie
Dennis Schröder has had an immediate impact on the Thunder, and it shows. In all 19 games played so far, Schröder is averaging 17.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists-per-game coming mostly off the bench. He is averaging a career high in three-point percentage at 36.3 percent, and was a big part of the Thunder’s victory against the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 21. Schröder tallied 32 points shooting 5-for-6 from three-point land while backing up Russell Westbrook.
Schröder has been an integral part of OKC’s success and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Mr. Two First Names
While Westbrook has missed a fair share of games this season, Paul George has taken it upon himself to carry most of the Thunder’s load. He’s averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals-per-game.
It’s no surprise that the Thunder are winning games when one of its players is having a career season so far.
The Thunder have played well without one of the best defenders in the NBA suiting up for them this season. The timetable for Roberson’s return is most likely to be after the new year but if the Thunder can maintain this level of play without him, they will truly be a force to be reckoned with when he returns. The question lingers: Can he be the player he was once prior to tearing his meniscus?
The Thunder gets a B+ about a quarter into the season. They’ve lost some games they really should have won and started out the season 0-4. Despite their record of 12-7, they haven’t really proved much other than what people already knew going into the season.
They’re a good team that will be at least a top-five seed in the NBA Playoffs. Here’s to hoping that by the All-Star break the Thunder have impressed enough to earn an A+. Trust this, Steven Adams hasn’t been forgotten. His performances this season are deserving of his own article.
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