The Thunder has never started a season better than this.
Twenty-one wins to only five losses.
Not bad, especially for a team plenty of pundits said would slip from the elite ranks after the James Harden trade.
Some of those same prognosticators are now calling the Thunder the best team in the NBA. That remains to be seen, of course. The playoffs will provide that answer, though Tuesday's game against the Heat will be a fun barometer.
Even though we will have to wait until this summer to know exactly how good this Thunder squad is, one thing is already clear.
The Thunder has never had a better fit.
And it all goes back to that end-of-the-world trade.
The Beard is a fantastic player. His combination of offensive skills is rare and lethal.
But removing him from this particular group of players has actually made it better.
It starts with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Doesn't everything with this team? The Thunder superstars played great when Harden was on the team, but we're learning that both of them had playmaking abilities that they weren't using.
Because Harden was such a great playmaker, they often deferred to him.
No harm in that.
But now, we're seeing that both KD and Russ have plenty of playmaking skills of their own. Durant's assists are up almost one per game, from 3.5 a game last season to 4.2 this season, while Westbrook's are up more than three a game. He has gone from 5.5 assists to a whopping 8.8, which is a career high.
Not surprisingly, the team's assists have jumped, too, from 18.5 and ranking 30th during the regular season a year ago to 22.1 and ranking seventh this year.
It's obvious that Durant and Westbrook are working harder at getting other guys involved. The numbers bear it out, but so does the eye test.
This team is just more fluid and better spaced.
Before, there was a lot of standing around, waiting for someone to make move to the basket. At times, it was infuriating to watch.
You know how KD would get position, call for the ball, then catch it, bend a bit at the waist and hold out his arms to keep the ball away the defender?
It was the look of a stagnant offense.
You don't see that so much any more.
There's a lot less standing around and calling for the ball. Now, there's a lot more ball movement, which makes defenders chase and creates wide-open shots.
It's so much more fun to watch.
It's so much better for Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison and Kevin Martin, too.
Ibaka is the biggest beneficiary of this new-look team. Much like he emerged as a starter and a defender after the Jeff Green trade, he has blossomed as an offensive threat since the Harden trade. His points-per-game average has skyrocketed to 14.2, more than five points better than last season.
He still has that 16- to 18-foot jumper, but now, he's finishing around the basket. Before, he struggled to catch the ball in the paint, much less score. Now, there are lots of times where he's finishing with dunks.
His evolution has been all kinds of impressive.
Ditto for Sefolosha and Collison.
Sefolosha is getting all sorts of wide-open looks from behind the 3-point line. It's a shot he's proven he can knock down, and as those open looks have fallen, he's become more confident in guarded situations.
The other night at Atlanta, he knocked down one with a defender in his face.
Collison is showing more offensive skills, too. He has a solid midrange jumper that he rarely shot the past few years but that now is a regular part of his game. He has also developed a little give-and-go play with the guards, which used to be a staple with his second-team compadre Harden.
And last but not least is Martin.
He can do lots of things offensively, but his spot-up-shooting ability is like nothing the Thunder has ever had. He roams mostly outside the paint and makes defenders stay honest. That has opened up the floor for this team and made what Durant, Westbrook and Co. do even more effective.
It has been a remarkable fit.
You can see it with the eye test, the statistics and, of course, the remarkable record that this team has posted.
We can't say for sure if the Thunder is the best team in the NBA, though there's plenty of evidence that you should start the argument with the boys in blue. We can't say with certainty that this will be the best Thunder team of all time; it would have to get back to the NBA Finals to stake that claim.
But we can say that Oklahoma City has never seen a team quite like this.
There's never been a better fit.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.