Minnesota dropped into a last-place tie with the young Thunder in the Northwest Division. With the way the two teams have played the past two months, the Thunder might pass the Timberwolves by season’s end.
Based on recent trends, it’s highly probable Oklahoma City will wind up with the No. 6 pick in the June 25 NBA Draft, pending the outcome of the May 19 Draft Lottery.
"In reality, what’s the big difference between 20 and 25 or 26 wins?” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It’s how you’re playing, how you’re improving, how your guys are developing.”
The Thunder is playing much better, especially defensively.
Following a 3-29 start, it appeared the Thunder’s record in its debut season in Oklahoma City might be worse than the Sonics’ 20-62 finish a year ago.
But after suffering through the second-worst start in league history, the Thunder has played close to .500 basketball the past three months. Moves for Thabo Sefolosha and Nenad Krstic have helped, too.
"We do have hope for the future,” Collison said. "But just because we’ve had some successful stretches doesn’t mean we’re automatically going to turn the corner. It’s encouraging, for sure, but there’s a big difference between where we are and being in the playoffs.”