Thunder Journal: Will the Streak End?
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“We’re going streaking!” – Frank the Tank
Is it even possible there’s a more aptly named fictional character with a more apt quote than this modern classic from Old School to describe the Oklahoma City Thunder’s current situation?
With the same excitement as a drunken, naked Will Ferrell urging Snoop Dogg to drop his drizzawers like they’re hot and run through the quad and into the gymnasium, Thunder fans on the whole are thrilled about streaking to 12 straight losses.
The Thunder’s sudden propensity to put together Ls like a skillful hillbilly llama has given new hope to a fanbase shuddering at the notion of missing out on a top-5 pick in a potentially historically front loaded NBA draft. If OKC keeps up this torrid tank tempo, there’s a solid chance their current 42% odds of being one of four teams to have their ping pong ball drawn could jump to 48% or even 52%.
The question on every OKC fan’s mind: will the Thunder win another game this season?
There’s no easier way to analyze the odds than to just break down every one of OKC’s 13 remaining games. Let’s go hunting for wins.
4/23 vs Wizards. Brodie and Beal have won six straight games. OKC has lost 12 straight games. The Thunder lost by double digits to the Wizards just four days ago. Russ is eight triple doubles away from breaking Oscar Robertson’s all-time record. He’ll be seven short two hours after seven. Verdict: Loss.
4/26 at 76ers. The only way OKC wins this game is if Lu Dort proves he’s a better defender than Philly dynamos Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle by guarding all three of them at the same time. Verdict: Loss.
4/27 at Celtics. Boston starts two guys aged 23 and 24 in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who played in the 2021 NBA All Star Game. OKC starts two guys aged 19 and 21 in Aleksej Pokusevski and Moses Brown who played in the 2021 NBA G League. Verdict: Loss.
4/29 vs Pelicans. The Pelicans are one of the most disappointing teams this season when compared to their preseason expectations, while the Thunder pre-Shai injury were one of the most surprising. The Pelicans are a full three games behind the Warriors for the last play-in spot in the West, so let’s hope Zion leads New Orleans a little closer to the playoff promised land. Verdict: Loss
5/1 vs Pacers. Hopefully former Thunder big man Domantas Sabonis is back from injury next week. Despite Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert pacing the backcourt, OKC was within two with 24 seconds to go two days ago when these two teams teed off. Verdict: Loss
5/2 vs Suns. Chris Paul was a mentor to the trio of young Thunder core players last season, and no doubt this father figure of a Sun will son his former teammates. Verdict: Loss
5/4 vs Kings. Can someone please explain to me why we have to worry about a Thunder team filled with rookies, sophomores and G League players might beat a team boasting De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Field, Harrison Barnes, Tyrese Haliburton and Delon Wright? Kings, you should still be playing your guys at this point to establish a winning culture or something. Help us help you. Verdict: Loss, fingers crossed
5/6 at Warriors. Steph Curry somehow is in the MVP race by leading Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre to the 10th seed in the West. But let’s help him get some more ludicrous votes, shall we? Verdict: Loss
5/8 at Warriors. Sorry, Steph. You’re great. You really are. But we’re all a little bitter that Russ got flack his MVP season because the Thunder were “only” the 6 seed with an arguably worse roster. And even more bitter that we were counting on you finishing with a top-10 record so we’d get another first round pick. Let’s hope this W helps the W’s inch a little closer to that increasingly impossible dream. Verdict: Loss
5/9 at Kings. Of the trio of spooky Sacramento games, this should be the one Thunder fans can rest the most easy. Easy to rest the most best players since it’s the second night of a back to back. Verdict: Loss, toes crossed
5/11 at Kings. Look, I just don’t know if it’s possible to drop three games to the Kings in one week even if you are trying your best to lose and Sacramento is trying their best to win. Verdict: Win UGH
5/14 vs Jazz. Utah, go all out and try to capture the #1 overall seed. Sure, homecourt advantage doesn’t mean as much this season, but fans are returning and it’s really cool to have top seed bragging rights, so don’t rest your players. Pretty please. Verdict: Loss
5/16 vs Clippers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Clippers know their playoff position coming into this game, so let’s hope the LA scrubs go off this game. Go Reggie Jackson and you can do it Patrick Patterson and yay Patrick Beverley! Verdict: Loss
There you have it. I predict a 1-12 finish to the season and a final record of 21-51.
But if the Thunder somehow continue streaking all the way to the finish line, OKC would end up with the #4 all-time NBA losing streak and will be sitting pretty for a top-4 draft lottery spot.
Somewhere, Frank the Tank is smiling.