NBA

Thunder but no lightning: Why the Thunder have lost 14 straight

Michael Reaves

The Oklahoma City Thunder started off the season with a bang but have seemingly disappeared from the media’s eyes, respectively so. The Thunder have gone winless in the month of April, their last win coming March 31st over the Raptors. If we go back in time to March 31st, the Thunder were at a respectable record of 20-27, but haven’t won since, and what is the reason? What makes a team that looked like they could’ve finished at the bottom of the lottery or the play in tournament lose fourteen games straight? To put it plainly, it is a mixture of things, some obvious, some you wouldn’t expect. We hope to see lighting strike with a win in the future, but as of right now, that doesn’t seem like a bright possibility.

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

To start, they have many injuries that have gotten worse as time goes on. Al Horford was put on the injury reserve and hasn’t played since March 27th. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hasn’t played in weeks and won’t play at least another two weeks. Big injuries will have an impact, but it’s not the sole reason this team can’t win games. Their worst loss was by 48 points against the Portland Trailblazers, a beatable team, so their schedule is not to fault. In the 14 games since their last win, they have only faced six teams that are in playoff contention. Another factor in them losing games is that the people playing aren’t ready for the shine they are getting. The team leader in PPG is Luguentz Dort, averaging 14 PPG. Lu Dort is a very good player, but for him being the best offensive player on the Thunder as of right now is a position he is not ready to fill as of right now. The other team leaders include players like Darius Bazley, Theo Maledon and Isaiah Roby, players not meant to lead a team to wins, at least not in the current moment. The games being participated in consist of lineups of players you’d see from a new formed expansion team. This team is the equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys, NBA team version. The last factor in this teams losses is the scrambling of the team in the last two years. Two years ago, the Thunder consisted of star caliber players such as Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder. Russell Westbrook is on the Wizards, Steven Adams is a Pelican, and Dennis is on the Lakers. Last season the team consisted of players like Chris Paul, Shai, and a really great bench. Chris Paul lasted only a season, now playing great on the Phoenix Suns, Shai is one of the only players they kept, and the rest of the team was traded for draft picks. This team has been so shaken up that no one can blame them for losing games, and winning twenty games with the low chemistry they have should be impressive. While I don’t think it will happen for a few games, I hope to see the Thunder be more than just their name and strike a win. I hope you all enjoyed reading, Shaney out.

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