A handful of “yeah, buts” can be spewed to discredit some of the Thunder's success.
For starters, Oklahoma City's schedule hasn't exactly brought the stiffest competition. The Thunder has played four of the five worst teams in the Eastern Conference, including 7-16 Detroit twice. Wednesday's meeting with the Hornets, the Western Conference's worst team at 5-14 prior to their game against Washington on Tuesday, will be the third time the Thunder has faced New Orleans this season. The second meeting took place while No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis was sidelined with an injury.
Finally, the Thunder has played 13 games at home and only eight on the road. By the end of the current five-game home stand, that ratio will be 16-to-8.
But to write off the Thunder's early season success using such excuses is to ignore the development that's been taking place. Individually and collectively, the Thunder has shown a great deal of growth both offensively and defensively.
Perhaps to the surprise of many, the Thunder has become the league's top offensive team even without Harden. Assists are up. Turnovers are down. And a better team-wide understanding of where to be on offense has helped lead to an impressive 49.1 percent shooting clip, the second best accuracy in the league.
“That's the thing that I'm excited about what we're doing offensively is we're really understanding spacing much better,” Brooks said. “It's taken many, many years of many hours of work.”
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Thunder vs. Hornets
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722, DirecTV 679, Dish, U-Verse 754/HD 1754).
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM
Three things to know
* With a win against the Hornets, the Thunder will match its best start to a season since moving to Oklahoma City.
* The Hornets are coming off a home loss against Washington on Tuesday night.
* The Thunder is 2-0 against the Hornets this season, winning by 15 in the first game and 21 in the second meeting.