We now know that the OKC Thunder finished their regular season with a record of 55-27, good enough for the seventh best record in the entire league. Over the All-Star break, we examined the remaining 28 games on the Thunder's schedule and pontificated how things might shake out in order for them to finish with a final record commensurate with the first 2/3 of the season. You can find that original post here:
Here is how our predictions bore themselves out:
A few more comments after the jump.
- The early prediction was that the Thunder would do the same percentage-wise over the final 28 games, and here we can see they bested that amount by two wins. You can see that I had anticipated losses to the Heat, Suns, Hawks, and Lakers, three of which are playoff teams. The Thunder won all of those games relatively handily.
- I would probably add asterisks to the Magic and Bucks games. I don't really know if OKC would have beaten the Magic had all systems been running well, but keep in mind that this was the first game they played after the Jeff Green trade was announced. Not surprisingly, the Thunder went through this game in an unfocused daze. Also, as we saw last night, the Thunder could have won the Bucks game but chose not to compete through the end. A win would have made the record 21-7, or a 75% winning percentage, which would have been on par with the Lakers.
- Of the four losses where I expected wins (highlighted in gray), three of them were to teams with losing records (Raptors, Clippers, Bucks). The Raptors ended up sweeping the Thunder, and the Clippers and Bucks split the season series 2-2 and 1-1, respectively. The loss to the Lakers eventually righted itself last week, bringing a net of zero to that set of predictions.
- Looking back, I don't think any loss hurts more than the one to the Raptors. They just seemed to match up well against the Thunder but were pretty bad against every other team in the league. The Nuggets would do well to take notice of why.
- Out of all the wins in these 28 games, the ones that surprised me the most was the win against the Heat and the first game against the Nuggets. To me, it just seemed like the Heat were too much of a match-up problem, and the Nuggets were on such a hot streak I thought that their momentum would carry through.
- Congratulations, Dogburt. Your predictions are no better than random guessing.