After trading Paul George and Russell Westbrook lats summer, nobody was expecting much from the Thunder. With a new roster and one void of stars, it seemed as if they were headed down a path to the Draft Lottery.
Instead, they have been the biggest shock of the league so far this season. Not only are they competing for a playoff spot, but they’re 5th in the Conference, with a record of 40-24.
As a testament to how impressive, and truly unexpected, their run has been, consider the fact that ESPN gave the now-6th seeded Thunder a 2% chance to make the playoffs at the start of the season. They had counted out CP3 and OKC from the very beginning.
Needless to say, this team has proved them wrong.
To do what they’re doing without a true superstar is impressive, to say the least. It has been a group effort from the organization with guys like Steven Adams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and Dennis Schroder stepping up and playing big.
Chris Paul, after being exiled from Houston, has found some real success in OKC. After the league essentially gave up on him, he has proved he still has plenty left in the tank as a player and leader.
It’s hard to say how far they will get in the playoffs, especially when you put them up against the other Western Conference elites. But you can’t feel about what they’re doing this season, especially because nobody expected them to get there in the first place.