It’s time to open up my Twitter mailbag and answer some of my favorite questions from Thunder fans over the past week!
Are the Thunder going to make the play-in?
I believe so. But let’s play it out and see where I land by the end of this paragraph. First off, let’s assume the Nuggets, Grizzlies, Kings, Suns, Clippers and Warriors nab six of the ten spots. The Spurs and Rockets are eliminated. The Blazers are four games out of the play-in and have basically said they’re about to shut Damian Lillard down soon and try their best to pair Dame and Wemby. So that leaves the Mavs, Wolves, Thunder, Jazz, Lakers and Pelicans vying for four spots. The Jazz have the second toughest remaining schedule. The Pelicans are one full game out of the last play-in spot and have the 14th toughest remaining schedule. The KAT-less Wolves are without Anthony Edwards indefinitely. OKC, Dallas and LA all have top eight easiest remaining schedules. I think t Oklahoma City can beat out two of Utah, New Orleans and Minnesota. And possibly (and hilariously) the Lakers as well. The fact we are even having this conversation in regards to the NBA’s youngest team and one that Vegas had tied with Houston and Indiana for the NBA’s worst preseason over/under is such an unbelievable win for OKC.
Who are your favorite players in the late lottery?
Taylor Hendricks is my guy. Somehow, the highest I’ve seen him ranked thus far is #10 in Kevin O’Connor’s latest Ringer big board. The UCF power forward is usually slotted somewhere between #12-#15, right in OKC’s sweet spot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him flirt with the top 10 by the time the combine is in the books. Hendricks is one of the draft’s best shot blockers and shoots nearly 40% from 3-point range on high volume. He’s young, smart, bouncy, long and likes to dunk everything once he’s in the paint. Chet Holmgren and Hendricks could potentially be a Cavs-esque defensive front court. He’s not much of a creator, but he doesn’t need to be on this team. He’s a perfect fit.