The month of March has come and gone, and only eight regular season games remain.
But before starting the countdown to the end of what could be the Thunder's first 60-win season, it's important to look back on the month that was.
The Thunder went 12-5 in March, a respectable record but one that only scratches the surface of how the team actually performed. All throughout the month there were ups and downs, highs and lows that, at this point of the year, could be categorized as either coincidences or causes for concern.
With the start of the playoffs now less than three weeks away, we'll soon learn whether those March trends will define the Thunder in the postseason or turn into distant memories when it matters most.
In the meantime, here are a few of the more significant developments we saw in March.
Poor rebounding: The Thunder out-rebounded 10 of its 17 opponents in March, but that surface-level success belies the actual struggles OKC had. The Thunder allowed 12.6 offensive rebounds in the month and 14.6 in the month's final seven games. One of the team's long-standing problem areas appeared to be getting worse rather than better.
Kevin Durant turnovers: Not even the biggest Durant supporter could ignore his issues with ball security. He averaged 4.2 turnovers in March and had at least five turnovers in eight games. That included a season-high eight turnovers in a game against Utah. Durant finished strong, turning it over just 2.8 times on average in his final four games. But with the Thunder expected to rely much more on Durant's playmaking this postseason without James Harden around, his continued struggles as a passer are worrisome.
Russell Westbrook's dominance: If February was the best month of Westbrook's career, March might go down as his second best. He averaged 23.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists while shooting 45.3 percent. He did it while averaging just 34.6 minutes, the second fewest he's had in any month this season. Fittingly, he capped the month with his first triple-double of the year and the sixth of his career.
Reggie Jackson's emergence: The second-year point guard grew confident in March and blossomed into a weapon off the bench. He averaged 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 16.1 minutes and shot 46.2 percent. Along the way, Jackson showed he's virtually unstoppable when he decides to get to the rim and extremely crafty as a finisher once there. If Jackson is able to maintain his effectiveness, the Thunder's bench won't be as bad as many fear it could be this postseason.
Nick Collison's contributions: After a steady dip in his scoring since December, Collison picked it back up in March and again became an offensive threat. He scored in double digits in three of his final five games and, more impressively, emerged as quality facilitator, working a two-man game with Kevin Martin while continuing to do the dirty work that he's made a living doing.
Fading 3-point shooting: It wasn't long ago that the Thunder was leading the league in 3-point shooting. But in March, OKC connected on just 31.9 percent from downtown. The Thunder made more than six 3-pointers in only seven of the month's 17 games. OKC still is a top five 3-point shooting team. But the slippage seen in March brings up the question of which team we'll see in the postseason.
Better ball movement and balance: The Thunder averaged 19.5 assists in March, which is slightly lower than its season average. But OKC had 10 games of at least 20 assists this month and six games with at least five players in double figure scoring. The Thunder is 24-2 on the season when five players score at least 10 points.
Losing against the league's best: By far the most disturbing thing seen in March, the Thunder simply couldn't beat the best teams on its schedule. OKC went 1-4 against Denver, Memphis, San Antonio and the Clippers. More than anything else, the Thunder's performance against the best teams in the West created concern about how the team will fare in the playoffs.