Will the OKC Thunder Make the Playoffs?

If I was asked this question at the end of last season, I would have said yes, without even thinking about it. OKC making the playoffs has seemed like a guarantee, especially with them being led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who both seem to get better every single year and are still getting better as we speak. The only problem is that the supporting cast around these stars has been fairly weak, but as long as they have Durant and/or Westbrook, they’d be fine. But then the unthinkable happened. Durant went down in a preseason game, and missed the first 8 weeks of the season. This would force Russell Westbrook to take over the team and keep them in the playoffs while Durant was gone, but as fate would have it, Westbrook injured his hand and was also out for multiple weeks. During this time, the Thunder were lead to an abysmal 3-12 by an incomplete supporting cast. But then Westbrook and Durant came back and they were winning and getting back on pace to make the playoffs, when Durant got injured again. Without him, the Thunder were able to manage, but they weren’t making up the ground that they needed to in order to make the cut. But then the trade deadline came up, and the Suns traded two of their best players in order to remedy the awkward dynamic created by three starting caliber point guards, and slowly began to slip, and it seemed like the Thunder would be able to swoop in and take that last spot away. But then the New Orleans Pelicans had a new resurgence, winning 4 in a row without their All-Star Anthony Davis. Now that Davis is back, the team has continued to win and has pulled within a half game of OKC with an impressive comeback win over the Grizzlies on Saturday. The Pelicans look stronger everyday, while the Thunder have begun to struggle again. Westbrook has put forth his best effort to lead this team, even posting an amazing four triple-doubles in a row, but even that wasn’t enough, as the Thunder lost two of them, with one of their wins being a very close overtime win against the Philadelphia 76’ers, a team that has been prominently tanking this season. It doesn’t help that Westbrook is content to hoist up over thirty shots in multiple consecutive games, but as it stands, things aren’t looking like the lock they once were. The Thunder need to keep fighting and pray Durant comes back soon, or they could very easily by overthrown by the surging Pelicans.


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