The Oklahoma City Thunder are 7-3, but most of those wins have come against teams that fall short of being elite. In fact, the Thunder have only one win against a team that has a winning record. That win came against a Dallas Mavericks team that had been struggling at that point. The Mavericks have turned things around lately so it’s safe for us to say that OKC hasn’t beaten any really good competition yet.
Each of their losses were handed to them by teams who are considered title contenders. Those teams are the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. The good thing is that this Thunder team will play all of those teams within their next five games, including a matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.
If OKC wants to be considered an elite team again they will have to win these big games coming up. They get their first crack at supremacy tonight on TNT when they go up against the Clippers in Oklahoma. The Clippers, as I mentioned, have already defeated the Thunder so this is more than just another game. Kevin Durant and Chris Paul are both playing some of the best basketball of their careers, landing them in the top three in most of the recent MVP rankings. Both of these players will be looking to gain a lead in that race as they try to reel in another victory for their respective teams.
One game won’t define your season, but some games are just more important than others. The Thunder have a few very important games within the next week or so. Even though it is early in the season, this team can’t afford to continue to drop games against the more tougher teams in the NBA. No one will be willing to give them any credit if they can’t defeat certain teams.
The Thunder have recently been contenders, but things have changed. Russell Westbrook returned early from a serious injury and the bench has been inconsistent so far. They have something to prove this season, and winning is the only way to set things straight again.