A Glance at the Thunder's Five Year Splits

Unsurprisingly, the Spurs have been the best team at keeping the Thunder in check. - Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

We look at who's good at beating the Thunder, and who's really struggled to make their mark. I'll bet you didn't know that five different teams have never beaten the Thunder in Oklahoma City!

The Thunder have existed for five years now. It might seem like a mere blip in time compared to the multi-decade history of the grander NBA franchises, but it's certainly long enough to produce some form of history. In these five years, we've seen dynasties rise and fall, and we've watched teams flip over their entire roster.

In the spirit of looking back, I thought I'd take a look at how well each team has fared against the Thunder overall. After hours of pouring over Basketball-Reference statistics, I made a table that showed each team's win percentage over the past five years, both overall and against the Thunder specifically. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure....

Thunderopponents_medium

Here's a few interesting tidbits that I've gathered from the table....

  • The Thunder beat who they're supposed to beat. There's no consistently talented team in the bottom half of the table. Philadelphia is a bit low for their overall record, but they've never been a really threatening team.
  • The opponent who's gone the longest without beating the Thunder is Philadelphia. Their last win came on November 15th, 2008. Detroit has a similar story, with their last win over the Thunder coming on December 26th, 2008. Neither team has beat OKC in the Peake.
  • Speaking of teams that have never beaten OKC in the Peake, you can add Sacramento, Charlotte, and Washington to that list.*
  • Only 7 teams have an over .500 record against the Thunder.
  • The Thunder swept no opponent in their first season.
  • Cleveland looks like a statistical anomaly, but when you consider that the first two years involved 2-0 sweeps from LeBron's team, it begins to make more sense.
  • San Antonio is the only team that the Thunder have never won a season series against, though they've tied twice.
  • Denver has been a thorn in the Thunder's side, but the Thunder have more Northwest Division championships, with three compared to Denver's two.
  • The only team with an under .500 record to go over .500 against the Thunder is Milwaukee. This might be partially explained by the fact that the Thunder played their first game ever against Milwaukee (during the Carlesimo era) and the fact that the Thunder intentionally tanked their home games against Milwaukee in 2011 and 2013, due to their playoff seed already being locked in. Both of the latter games were the Thunder's very last game of the season.
  • The team that's closest to being a Thunder killer is the Los Angeles Clippers. They were swept by the Thunder last season, but their overall record against the Thunder before that was 9-6, despite a 120-192 overall record.
  • The team that I'm proudest of beating is Dallas. Despite them being championship contenders in three of the first five seasons (when the Thunder weren't so good), the Thunder have managed to best them, 11-7.

What do you think of the Thunder's 5 year splits? Let us know in the comments!

*We previously reported that New York had never beaten the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Somehow, I missed the most recent game they played in January, where they did end up beating the Thunder. I apologize for the error. Thanks to rodneypr for pointing it out.

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