Predicting The Next Five Games For Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder: Predicting The Next Five Games
Now at 20-4, the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking more dangerous than ever. This is a team with two of the top five players in the league which also has one of the more productive second-units in the entire NBA. If you are any team in the league then you do not want to be matched up with the Thunder at this point. They are burning hot, undefeated at home and on a seven game win streak going into their Thursday night game against the Chicago Bulls.
The focus this year for the Thunder is and most likely always will be the play of Kevin Durant. Durant is the early favorite for MVP and not many people would disagree. Still, let us take nothing away from the guys who step in and do an excellent job at maintaining leads and momentum for their team while the superstars get their much deserved rests.
Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb are just as important as any player on the team's roster - including their two All-Stars. This is because without that solid production night in and night out from those three players then you are left with Durant and Westbrook doing too much, as they have had to do in previous seasons that ended in heartache for OKC.
Things are different this year, and it is not just something us writers are saying to give credit to this team. No, they are showing their improvement on the court with each win as of late. Earlier in the season you could see that not everyone was on the same page. Now you know you are going to get high-energy and hard work from the first player on the roster to the last man on the bench. The Thunder are coming off a 103-95 win against the Denver Nuggets and have a tough week ahead. I am here to predict their next five games -- giving some insight on what fans in Oklahoma should be expecting from their beloved team in the upcoming week.
vs. Chicago Bulls - December 19, 2013
The Chicago Bulls just are not the same team without their leader and best player, Derrick Rose. This team is 3-7 in their last 10, compared to OKC, who is 9-1 in the same amount of games. This will clearly be any easy one for the Thunder, who will also have a chance to go 13-0 at home with a win.
Final Score: OKC 102, CHI 92
at San Antonio Spurs - December 21, 2013
This will be the second game between these Western Conference powerhouses. The Thunder walked away with a win in the first meeting, but they were in the comfort of their own home in that game. This time they hit the road where some would argue that they have some issues winning games. Their 8-4 record says otherwise, but a win in San Antonio would speak much louder. The Thunder recently overtook the No. 2 spot in the West -- the Spurs will be looking to regain early control of the conference, but it will not be an easy thing to do.
Final Score: OKC 98, SA 96
vs. Toronto Raptors - December 22, 2013
The Raptors have been a tough team to judge early this season. They traded away Rudy Gay, but they still hold the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 9-13 record. It is not the best record obviously, but it is working for them. Meanwhile, the Thunder are still 20-4 and undefeated at home, so this will be a bad situation for the Raptors.
Final Score: OKC 110, TOR 88
at New York Knicks - Christmas Day
Jingle bells, the Knicks smell. Still, I expect this team to be ready to fight off any embarrassing blowout loss the Thunder may be ready to hand out that day. It will be Christmas; you have to give the Knicks some sort of hope. In reality, it is a nightmare they want to wake up from immediately. One cool thing we will get to see is the new Big Logo NBA jerseys. I do not know what to think about them, but we'll see how good they look on the Thunder as they roll through the Big Apple on Christmas Day.
Final Score: OKC 106, NY 102
at Charlotte Bobcats - December 27, 2013
Last and maybe least, the Thunder cap things off on the road against the Bobcats -- another team that has been hard to read and hold a low playoff spot in the East. The Bobcats looked better early on; there is no reason not to believe that they can improve and surprise everyone by staying in the playoff race through the entire season. Too bad they have to face-off against the Thunder who are just better than they are at every position. The Thunder go 5-0 in their next five -- extending their winning streak to 12 games.
Final Score: OKC 111, CHA 100
Lakers' Larry Nance Jr. Deserves More Playing Time
Larry Nance Jr. has proven thus far that he has the talent to become a viable asset for the Los Angeles Lakers. Here is why he should be rewarded with more minutes off the bench. Read More