The Oklahoma City Thunder: Why Things Aren’t Working, and Why There’s Hope

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The Oklahoma City Thunder’s new starting lineup featuring the offseason acquisitions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, paired with last year’s MVP Russell Westbrook, has the firepower to challenge the Warriors and Spurs in the Western Conference and reach the NBA Finals. However, the team’s record for the 2017-2018 NBA season so far, is less than impressive. In the first two months of play, the Thunder has won 12 games, while they’ve lost 13.  Obviously, these results are disappointing to say the least, given the amount of skill on the roster.

Westbrook, George, and Anthony are each seasoned All Star players, but the team is still off to a slow start. This has left many Thunder fans scratching their heads and asking: Why isn’t the team at the top of the standings?

Thunder power forward Nick Collison may have an answer on why his team is struggling. When asked by Erik Horne, a sportswriter for The Oklahoman who covers the Thunder, why the team is struggling this season, Collison stated that the key to a smoother, more effective offense is more ball movement. Collison thinks that given the skill of the team, if they were able to create a few more passes before every shot, the offense would be more versatile, and have more opportunities to score due to a smoother flow. Click here for the full interview with Collison.

So, Thunder fans, before you lose all hope on your favorite team, you should consider a few things. This is only the beginning of the season. There is plenty of time for the OK3 to work out their kinks and problems on both ends of the court, and like Collison says, with more ball movement and a smoother flow on offense, the sky is the limit. It’s also important to note that in NBA history, it’s taken time for super teams (like the LeBron-Wade-Bosh Heat or hopefully in this case, the Westbrook-George-Anthony Thunder) to learn to play together and reach their potential; and this new potential on the Thunder may be enough to lead the team to an NBA championship.

*Editor’s note: Statistics are as of 12/12/17.