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Hope you enjoyed the Thunder Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyding their way to a win over the Timberwolves on Saturday night. Because Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s latest exhibit of All Stardom, a 15 point 4th quarter scoring frenzy, resulted in what may be the last time the Thunder end up on the high side for some time.
OKC is a respectable 10-12 despite preseason predictions of being the worst team in the league. Defying the odds is a reflection of this team’s make up, blemishes covered up by players who have outplayed their draft stocks, flipped previous reputations and exceeded expectations.
SGA was the 11th player selected in his draft. In a 2018 redraft, who gets picked before him besides Luka Doncic and (maybe not even!) Trae Young? Deandre Ayton? Ain’t no way. Mo Bamba? No, Bamba. Sorry Collin, I’d even turn down Sex… ton.
Lu Dort was an undrafted free agent, now he’s a Harden stopper, a 3 point savant and the inspiration to a million memes.
Al Horford was a washed old man on the worst contract in the NBA, now he’s on the Chris Paul Thunderehabilitation fast track.
Hamidou Diallo was a second round Sam Presti special: an athletic shooting guard who couldn’t shoot. Now he’s an efficient Tasmanian Devil of a 6th Man.
And we can’t forget about the cast of cast-offs offering timely buckets each night such as Mike Miller Muscala, Kenny Mullet and Isaiah Playing Out Of Position But Killing It Anyway Roby.
But as fun as it’s been to hoot and howl for these Thunderdogs, the schedule is flipping from Wolves who are all bark to teams who actually bite.
Let’s deep dive into OKC’s remaining first-half schedule.
LA Lakers (away). LeBron. The Brow. The true 2020 Sixth Man of the Year. The fake 2020 Sixth Man of the Year.
LA Lakers Part II (away). Forgot to mention they won the title last year.
Denver Nuggets (away). When they played three weeks ago, Denver beat OKC 119-101 and Nikola Jokic went for 27-12-6.
Milwaukee Bucks (home). The reigning two time MVP. Last season’s best overall record. Added Jrue Holiday. Won 4 straight games.
Portland TrailBlazers (home). Oh well, can’t lose them all.
Memphis Grizzlies (away). Five years from now, this will be a prime time game on TNT. For now, it’ll ignite a fun SGA vs Ja Twitter debate.
Milwaukee Bucks (away). Did you know that Giannis means “God is gracious”? Just a fun fact to distract you from another L.
Cleveland Cavaliers (away). The Cavs beat the KD, Harden, Kyrie Nets in back to back games a few weeks ago. I mention this to show this team’s upside despite their record and to lol at the Nets.
Miami Heat (home). Ahh, one of two opponents that inspires Tankers and Competers to put down their angry keyboards and root for the Thunder harmoniously. That said, this is still the Eastern Conference champs.
San Antonio Spurs (home). Pop defibrillated DeMar DeRozan to lead a lackluster Spurs team to the middle of the West standings.
Atlanta Hawks (home). Shai vs Trae in OK should be a fun day.
Denver Nuggets (home). The Joker returns for the sequel.
Dallas Mavericks (away). The preseason MVP favorite turned midseason MehVP has to have turned things around by this time, right?
San Antonio Spurs (away). Pop convinces LaMarcus Aldridge to give up his nightly BINGO game to lead a lackluster Spurs team to the middle of the West standings.
On top of the seemingly insurmountable schedule, George Hill is likely out for every one of those games.
The Thunder’s last game was a Tale of Two Halves. May just be the working title for the season as well.