There is still a lot of time between now and the end of the regular season and if the Oklahoma City Thunder continue to play as they have been lately, they might find their way into the play-in tournament and even the playoffs.
The team, which is currently 11th in the West with a 20-23 record, has been swinging for the fences since the new year began.
In 2023, The Thunder have been COOKING.
123.2 ORTG (2nd)
112.2 DRTG (12th)
+11.0 NETRTG (2nd)
They have arrived. pic.twitter.com/rKMh2zYYmq
— TF (@ThunderFocus) January 14, 2023
In 2023, the Thunder have been second in offensive rating with 123.2 and 12th in defensive rating with 112.2.
They also have a net rating of +11, which ranks second in the league.
Perhaps most impressively, the team has secured a 5-2 record since New Year’s Day.
There are multiple reasons for the resurgence of this Thunder team.
Most notably, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is doing phenomenal things for this squad: he is averaging 30.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists a game on a field-goal percentage of 50.4%.
But he’s not alone: Josh Giddey has been good for 15.7 points, 8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists while rookie Jalen Williams has created 11.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists a game on 52.2% from the field.
This team is one of the youngest – and one of the most exciting – in the league.
And they are doing all of this without their other rookie player, Chet Holmgren, who is sitting out all season due to injury.
It might be too soon for them to be true playoff contenders but few people doubt that the Thunder could be one of the biggest teams in the league within the next few seasons.
The rest of the season is long and the team could keep improving as the postseason looms larger.
They have obviously started the new year in the right way.