Next step for Thunder: Avoid Milwaukee mediocrity
In December, the Thunder seemed headed for history, flirting with the worst NBA record ever. Those days are gone, and now OKC has finished No. 4 in the lottery standings, behind the Kings, Clippers and Wizards.
Seems to me that’s a good place to finish from where the Thunder was: 3-29 on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. You never want to keep losing. But the worst thing you can do is get on what I call the Milwaukee Treadmill; winning 30something games every year. Never improving enough to make a playoff splash, never getting bad enough to feel like you have to start over.
The Sonics got to the latter point two years ago and started over, and the future of the now-Thunder looks promising. But OKC still has to leapfrog that Milwaukee Treadmill.
In the last two drafts, the Thunder has had overall picks of 2, 4 and 5, which has resulted in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green. Now OKC will get a pick somewhere between 1 and 7. We all hope for No. 1 and Blake Griffin, but even somewhere in the 3-5 range will produce a good ballplayer. No one was excited when the Sonics got the No. 4 lottery ball last year, but the result was Westbrook, now a cornerstone of the team.
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