Thunder's key to success: Beat the bad teams

By Mike Baldwin Published: October 28, 2009
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/> The Thunder either split or lost season series against the league’s other 27 teams.

The flip side is the Thunder was swept by 12 teams.

Oklahoma City finished a combined 0-34 against the Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers, Magic, Nuggets, Hornets, Rockets, Suns, Hawks, Pacers, Heat and Bucks.

Veteran point guard Kevin Ollie has been in the playoffs four times, including playing for the 2001 Sixers that lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

"You definitely have to win your share (against losing teams),” Ollie said.

"But those teams say the same thing about (beating) us. First and foremost is taking care of home and sneak in some wins on the road.”

Thunder analyst Grant Long said the biggest problem early in the season is it’s difficult to define the "bad teams.”

"Some teams don’t know they’re bad, yet,” Long said. "That makes it tougher. If a team starts 4-15 then the label can be applied this is one (game) you need to win, a team you’re supposed to beat.

"Even then I’m not a firm believer in that. That’s just statistics. On any given night a sub .500 team can beat the Lakers. Everybody will say, ‘They caught lightning in a bottle.’ Well, they won. You need to play well every night or you can get beat.”