The Oklahoma City Thunder will have a long four days rest before they play the biggest game of their season against the San Antonio Spurs — which should be a good thing, right? Well, in games this season when the Thunder have had four or more days of rest beforehand, they are 0-3.
I am not saying this statistic should have any prominent meaning, but it is still pretty interesting. The Thunder is one of the youngest teams in the league, so you would think that they would have full tanks after multiple days rest. In fact, they should be running up and down the floor on teams after multiple days rest.
More than likely though, it is just coincidence that the Thunder are 0-3 when coming off multiple days rest.
Still, these are the types of statistics you look into whenever there is such a big game coming up. The Thunder will have the opportunity to send a message to the Spurs this Thursday. They also have the opportunity to pull within a game of the top seed in the west. Since the Thunder are currently 1-2 in the series against the Spurs, this game is a must win. The Thunder especially do not want to lose since the game will be in Oklahoma City. The Spurs have not won a game in Oklahoma City for more than a year.
The Thunder undoubtedly want to reach the No. 1 seed in the west. If they do not though, it would not be the end of the world. Royce Young on dailythunder.com dished on the importance of regular season finishes.
Here are the last 10 NBA champions and where they finished in the regular season:
- 2002 Los Angeles Lakers: No. 3
- 2003 San Antonio Spurs: No. 1
- 2004 Detroit Pistons: No. 3
- 2005 San Antoni Spurs: No. 2
- 2006 Miami Heat: No. 2
- 2007 San Antonio Spurs: No. 3
- 2008 Boston Celtics: No. 1
- 2009 Los Angeles Lakers: No. 1
- 2010 Los Angeles Lakers: No. 1
- 2011 Dallas Mavericks: No. 3
- 2012 Miami Heat: No. 2
So to recap, titles by seed: No. 1 (four), No. 2 (three) and No. 3 (four). Nobody lower than a three-seed has won a title over the last 10 seasons. There’s good news! The Thunder are almost assured to finish top three in the West this season.
So historically, is the No. 1 seed a good sign of an eventual NBA championship? Well, Kind of … It certainly helps having home court advantage throughout the playoffs. If it comes down to game 7 of a series, home court usually is the difference in the outcome. Since 1948, home teams are 88-22 in game 7s. I like the home teams odds.