The Oklahoma City Thunder Can Compete With the Warriors

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Alex Alarcon

NBA · 3 years ago

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Content Manager for Pickswise.com The home of free sports picks and experts best bets.

The Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to win the NBA championship and even heavier favorites to win the Western Conference this season. According to Vegas the Warriors are -230 favorites to win the NBA Championship. The Warriors are also listed as -360 favorites to win the Western Conference. However, there is one team I believe can compete with the Golden State Warriors in the West and that team is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are currently in 3rd place in the Conference and trail the Golden State Warriors by 3.5 games for the top spot in the conference. This article will examine the Thunder in detail including the team overall, how they have performed in conference and how they have performed against the Warriors recently. We’ll begin by looking at the Oklahoma City as a whole on why the Thunder can compete with the Warriors.

Oklahoma City as a Whole

The Oklahoma City are currently in 3rd place in the Western Conference with a record of 37-19 and have a winning percentage of .661. They have the talent with Russell Westbrook and Paul George to do damage in the conference and even though they are one game back of the Denver Nuggets in the Northwest division I still look for them to win the division this season. Oklahoma City ranks 5th in the NBA in scoring with 115.3 points per game this season on offense. They are allowing 109.8 points per game on defense which ranks 12th in the NBA. They have a point differential of 5.5 points per game which is 5th best in the NBA and 2nd best in the Western Conference only to the Golden State Warriors. Paul George is one of the best players in the NBA and leads the team in scoring and steals with 1,577 points and 127 steals. Russell Westbrook is one of the best facilitating point guards in the NBA and leads the team in assists and rebounds with 537 assists and 535 rebounds. Jerami Grant leads the team in blocks with 75. They are a better team than the Nuggets and should be the 2 seed in the conference once the playoffs begin. How have they fared against the rest of the teams in the conference? Let’s take a look at that next.

Thunder Against the Western Conference

The Oklahoma City Thunder are 21-14 in conference games which is a winning percentage of .600 and is the 3rd best in the conference behind the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets. They have struggled in the division however going 5-4 for a winning percentage of .556 while Denver has dominated the division going 7-1. The Thunder have dominated games at home with a 7.6 point differential, so if they are able to win the division and get the 2 seed they would have a strong possibility of making it to the conference finals where they would likely match-up against the Golden State Warriors. How have the Thunder fared against the Golden State Warriors recently? Let’s take a look at that next.

Oklahoma City Thunder versus the Golden State Warriors

The teams will play each other three times this season with two of the games already in the books the third game will decide the season series. The Golden State Warriors won the first game at home by a score of 108-100 while the Thunder dominated the second game at Golden State by a score of 123-95. With the team games decided The Thunder have outscored the Warriors in the season series by 20 points of 10 points per game. That is a small sample size and I don’t think that holds up, but with the third game of the series in Oklahoma City it is conceivable to see the Thunder take the season series.

Make no mistake about it the Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to win the conference and they likely will. However, Oklahoma City can make a series of it in the playoffs as they have the experience to do so as well as the talent. Will they be able to win the Western Conference? I guess we will have to wait and find out, but it should be exciting to say the least.

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