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Thunder Journal: Season Subplots

The Thunder are missing out on the In-Season Tournament fun, but there's plenty of excitement for OKC outside of its core players thriving.
Thunder Journal: Season Subplots

The last time the Thunder played basketball, the NBA’s second youngest team gave up a 30-0 run to Luka Doncic and the Mavs on the road. And still won.

It’s a coincidental quirk of the NBA schedule that OKC just happened to be rewarded a mini-break immediately following what was their most impressive game, their worst game and possibly the wildest rollercoaster of a game in Thunder history all rolled up in one.

The three days off were the longest of the season so far for Thunder beat writers as well. In the down time, I’ve jotted some quarter-season takeaways and thrown them into one jumbled journal.

One note: SGA is once again playing at an MVP level, Chet Holmgren is playing like the Rookie of the Year and a potential All-Star and Jalen Williams is quietly flirting with a 50-40-90 season. They’ve been awesome. But this entry goes out to some of OKC’s less talked about other guys.

Speaking of the mini-break…

NCAA and NFL football fans have to endure a full seven days in between games and the week wait seems to fly by. But if your favorite NBA team has three days off in between games for an In-Season Tournament, it feels like the living embodiment of the ol’ Rose from Titanic “It’s been 84 years” meme.

Speaking of the In-Season Tournament…

It’s a bummer that OKC were left out of all the quarterfinals fun despite having the West’s second best record. I had my doubts and hesitations about the tourney because I’m an old man yelling at the sky when it comes to making changes to my beloved sports and their long-standing rules and regulations. But the players taking the games seriously and creating a playoff-esque atmosphere has me sold. And this pseudo-postseason environment would’ve been a positive playoff primer for the Thunder’s young core.

Speaking of OKC missing out…

The West’s top 3 seeds missed out on the tourney. That includes Nikola Jokic and the reigning champs. Meanwhile, the Lakers and Suns qualified for the quarterfinals due to being in a group that included three of the worst teams in the league: the Grizzlies, Jazz and Blazers. So while the tournament is fun, the NBA still has some kinks to work out.

Speaking of Serbian EuroLeague MVPs…

Vasilije Micic’s lack of playing time is the only rotation development that has surprised me. I truly thought that he’d have a nightly reserve role right away, even if a small one.

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