Last night’s win against the San Antonio Spurs was pivotal to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season. Not only did it bring them within half a game of first place in the Western Conference, but it also gave the Thunder something that has been much needed: confidence.
It had been two long months since the Thunder had beat one of the league’s top four teams, until last night. Even with last night’s victory, the Thunder are still just 4-9 against the top four teams in the league.
Now the Oklahoma City Thunder control their own destiny for playoff seeding. If they win out, they will get the number 1 seed in the west. Even if they tie with the Spurs, the Thunder have the tiebreaker since they have a better conference record.
But is the number 1 seed worth not sitting players and letting them rest before the playoffs start? The Miami Heat have been sitting a few of their starters for the past week in an effort to get them rested and healthy before the playoffs. Will this race to first place tire out the Thunder come playoff time?
I do not believe that will be the case. The Oklahoma City Thunder are very young and can recover quicker than other teams around the league. Plus, whenever the playoffs begin, the Thunder will become a whole new animal. This regular season has been almost boring for the Thunder since they just want to get to the playoffs. They have the taste of defeat in their mouths from last year’s heart-breaking loss in the NBA Championship to the Heat.
The Thunder are looking for a bit of revenge from last year, and I can guarantee their intensity level will be higher whenever the playoffs begin.