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How Lucky Number 7 can get the Thunder to the Finals

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It’s a long shot, but may offer the best chance OKC has to advance in the playoffs

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Hot Take! Get your hot take here!

Except this ain’t a New York Yankee’s game, and I’m not selling anything. I’m here to tell you that through the tumultuous season that the Oklahoma City Thunder have experienced, there is a huge possibility that they could by preference go through the defending champs and make it to the Western Conference Finals

If you go to my twitter account (mark_a_gilbert), you’ll see I made a video a month ago prognosticating that if the Thunder fall to the seventh seed, then they could beat the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors (who are locked in the second seed) in the first round of the Western conference NBA playoffs.

At the time the Thunder were in the fourth seed.

To borrow a phrase from Lavar Ball, did I speak it into existence?

The seventh seed is not likely, but there is still a chance that it can happen.

When I made that proclamation, folks called me crazy for doubting in the Warriors.

That tells me that fear, and an insatiable desire to keep the proverbial feathers unruffled, remains the status quo amongst fans.

Let’s be honest guys, the Warriors have not looked great recently. Since the Stephen Curry injury, they have gone 4-5 in their last nine games. Since Kevin Durant has been back in the line-up, they have gone 4-3 in their last seven games. (Thank God for the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings) Per Sports Illustrated, the Warriors with Curry have a league high 120.4 offensive rating essentially making them virtually unstoppable. Without Curry, the rating plummets to a 106.7, which is right around league average.

This alludes to a chink in the armor of Golden State, and I believe the Thunder are the only team left that is fully capable of taking advantage of it.

“We know that we can beat anybody when we’re playing our best” was the quote by Russell Westbrook after clinching a playoff spot earned by beating the Miami Heat on Monday night.

I believe the same thing. However, this iteration of the Thunder only seems to play their best against a select teams, while others give them all kinds of trouble. It’s all about match-ups, and could you dream of a better match up in the first round than the Thunder and the Warriors? A vengeful Westbrook with a capable crew, salivating at the opportunity to beat the reigning champions in an epic best of seven clash.

I’m tuning in for each game, watching every dribble with popcorn and gummy bears.

However, my prediction is contingent upon several factors, some highly likely and others not. Coach Steve Kerr stated a couple of weeks ago that Curry would sit out the first round, and that they can beat anyone in the playoffs, but I don’t think he imagined that the Thunder would be their first round match-up.

If the Thunder could actually draw and beat the Warriors in the first round, I believe that this will naturally embolden the team to surge through the second round and face James Harden, Chris Paul, and the number one seed Houston Rockets. The Thunder won the season series, besting the Rockets 2-1. I believe the Thunder will beat them in the Western Conference Finals and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.

With all of that said, there is only one convoluted scenario in which the Thunder can lock up the seventh seed.

Per Thunder Digest, in order to secure lucky number seven:

  1. OKC loses to Memphis
  2. NOLA loses to San Antonio
  3. Utah beats Portland
  4. Minnesota beats Denver

Thunder fans, these next 12 hours are going to be tough, but if all goes to plan, with some iconoclastic luck the Thunder can have the chance to knock off the Warriors in the first round, which would be one of the biggest upsets in modern history.

The road to landing the seventh seed is tough and improbable, but I guess that’s why they call it lucky number seven.


Should the Thunder tempt fate and try to secure the #7 spot?

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