3 min read

Friday Bolts: One. More. Game.

Friday Bolts: One. More. Game.

After hitting .500 at 36-36, the play-in seemed likely with sights set on the playoffs. In the nine games since then, the Oklahoma City Thunder has gone just 3-6, dropping to 10th in the Western Conference.  As a result, unless the Dallas Mavericks lose one of its last two games (Chicago, San Antonio), OKC will need a win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night to capture the last play-in spot.

Needless to say, after Chet Holmgren was sidelined for the season with a lisfranc injury, most predictions had the Thunder winning somewhere around 24-25 games.  After last night's must-have win over the Utah Jazz, OKC has 39 wins.  So, to say the team has overachieved might be a huge understatement.

The Thunder would not be here without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander playing at an All-NBA level.  But how did SGA get to where he is?

‘He’s making Hamilton his’: How Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s hometown shaped him
Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is really from Hamilton. It’s where, in his words, he “became a man.”

Royce Young of the Oklahoma City Thunder sat down and talked with Shai about his journey to stardom.

Oklahoma City Thunder on Instagram: “The process of going from good to great takes a level of hunger that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has ingrained into his game as a young talent. @royceyoung talks with Shai on his journey in the latest episode of The Path, premiering today at 1PM CT on OKC Thunder YouTube.”
1,568 likes, 39 comments - Oklahoma City Thunder (@okcthunder) on Instagram on April 5, 2023: “The process of going from good to great takes a level of hunger that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has ...”

Cliff Brunt (AP) profiles SGA and how he has been the catalyst to the team's surprising ascent.

Gilgeous-Alexander leads Thunder rebuild after stars exodus
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is doing his best to fasttrack the re-building schedule for the Oklahoma City Thunder after the NBA franchise lost Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Chris Paul to trades in the past seven years. He was a first-time All-Star this season and is averaging more tha…

In the 2009-10 season, a young, upstart Thunder squad surpassed expectations and nabbed the last playoff spot.  The vibes from 09-10 are being felt again in OKC, with this season looking like the end of a rebuild and the beginning of a something special writes Seerat Sohi (The Ringer).

This Could Be the Start of Something Special in Oklahoma City
The Thunder might be the NBA’s most interesting play-in team, but they aren’t sweating this year’s race. Per usual, they’re focused on the bigger picture: becoming the NBA’s most interesting team of the future.

Speaking of years past, a hallmark of OKC's small-town, close-knit feel was the way its fans showed up for the team, like showing up in the middle of the night to welcome the team after a road game.  Well, kids, it's back...