Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma City Thunder: Best against the best

by Berry Tramel Modified: February 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm •  Published: February 19, 2014
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Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) defends Memphis' Marc Gasol (33) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. Oklahoma City won, 86-77. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) defends Memphis' Marc Gasol (33) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. Oklahoma City won, 86-77. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The Thunder has the NBA’s best record, 43-12. The Thunder also has the NBA’s best record against the NBA’s best teams.

Seven NBA teams have a winning percentage above .660: OKC, Indiana 41-12, Miami 38-14, San Antonio 39-15, Houston 36-17, Portland 36-17 and the Clippers 37-19.

No other team is in the .600s. So there’s a clear line of differentiation among elite teams.

If you take those seven teams’ records against each other, you get an interesting standings, based on best vs. best. And again, the Thunder leads that list:

1. Oklahoma City 10-3

2. Miami 5-2

3. Indiana 6-3

4. Portland 7-7

5. Houston 5-6

6. Clippers 5-8

7. San Antonio 2-11

Sometimes, such a small pool of games can produce skewed information. Such as injuries. Chris Paul out with the Clippers. Dwyane Wade out with the Heat. A litany of valuable players out with the Spurs.

But Russell Westbrook has missed 30 games for the Thunder. And against those six other elite teams, OKC is 5-1 without Westbrook. So that’s impressive.

Here is each team’s record against the other elite teams:

Thunder: 2-0 vs. Houston, 1-0 vs. Indiana, 1-1 vs. Los Angeles, 1-0 vs. Miami, 2-2 vs. Portland, 3-0 vs. San Antonio.

Heat: 0-1 vs. OKC, 1-0 vs. San Antonio, 1-1 vs. Indiana, 0-0 vs. Houston, 1-0 vs. Portland, 2-0 vs. Los Angeles.

Pacers: 0-1 vs. OKC, 1-0 vs. San Antonio, 1-0 vs. Houston, 2-0 vs. Los Angeles, 1-1 vs. Miami, 1-1 vs. Portland.

TrailBlazers: 2-2 vs. OKC, 2-0 vs. San Antonio, 1-1 vs. Indiana, 1-2 vs. Houston, 0-1 vs. Miami, 1-1 vs. Los Angeles.

Rockets: 0-2 vs. OKC, 3-0 vs. San Antonio, 0-1 vs. Indiana, 2-1 vs. Portland, 0-0 vs. Miami, 0-2 vs. Los Angeles.

Clippers: 1-1 vs. OKC, 1-2 vs. San Antonio, 0-2 vs. Indiana, 2-0 vs. Houston, 1-1 vs. Portland, 0-2 vs. Miami.

Spurs: 0-3 vs. OKC, 0-3 vs. Houston, 0-1 vs. Indiana, 2-1 vs. Los Angeles, 0-2 vs. Portland, 0-1 vs. Miami.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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