Oklahoma City Thunder: Falling below the Miami Heat
The Thunder’s slump — 4-4 in the last eight games — has dropped the Boomers below a very important threshold. The Thunder now has a worse record than the Miami Heat. OKC is 34-12, Miami is 34-11.
That is no small thing. Should the Thunder find itself and start playing well enough to win the Western Conference, an NBA Finals likely awaits against the Heat. Chicago absolutely is an East contender, but who among us is picking against the Heat? And if the Thunder wants to win the Finals, I recommend homecourt advantage.
The Thunder would need every advantage possible against Miami, which is a horrible matchup for OKC, since the Heat has the defenders to neutralize the Thunder’s strength of drivers Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Most all season, the Thunder has stayed ahead of Miami. But the Thunder’s loss at Utah on Tuesday night dropped the Thunder below Miami, with 20 games left on the schedule (for OKC).
Of course, if the Thunder keeps playing like this, staying ahead of San Antonio will be tough. OKC leads the Spurs by 31/2 games in the West. Same thing goes for San Antone as goes for Miami; the Thunder needs every advantage possible against the Spurs, having lost eight of its last nine against San Antonio.
If the playoffs started today, the Thunder would face Houston in the first round — and the Rockets have split four games with OKC this year. Waiting in the second round would be the Memphis-Clipper survivor, and it’s not like the Thunder has coasted past either the last year or two, even before Chris Paul got to LA.
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