Start Time - 7 p.m (CT)
Broadcaster: OKC Thunder app
It has been a long time since the Thunder last played a game of basketball. Last season ended with one of the most painful wins that I have ever seen. Oklahoma City won a game against the Clippers when both teams were trying to tank.
The Thunder were tanking to get into the top-5 of the Draft and the Clippers were intentionally trying to lose to get a favourable first round matchup in the postseason. The Clippers, through the efforts of Daniel Oturu, lost the game and the Thunder entered the offseason on a sour note.
It has been a tumultuous offseason to say the least with a lot of division arising within the fanbase. The Giddey pick was not universally loved with some fans preferring Jonathan Kuminga or James Bouknight. The Thunder’s decision to not get involved in the Ben Simmons’ sweepstakes has also sparked debate.
Despite the division, Presti has stayed the course. The Thunder will be focused on developing talent and assembling a contending core from within instead of making splashy trades.
Entering the season, the Thunder have no real expectations placed upon them. Nobody expects a young, inexperienced team to really make waves in the difficult Western Conference. Perhaps this is the spirit that the Thunder need to carry into this season. An underdog mentality, chippy and incredibly competitive.
I expect this season to be much more fun than the last half of last season. It was pretty painful to see the Thunder getting blown out left, right and center. This season, we will see young guys growing up in the league before our very eyes. Giddey, Pokusevski and Shai will produce those moments of brilliant magic that we all love to see.
This season starts off with a banger. Charlotte are one of the most exciting young teams in the league and have legitimate playoff aspirations. The test posed by the Hornets will be a good indicator of where the Thunder are in terms of competitiveness. Personally, I am really looking forward to seeing Lu Dort and LaMelo Ball go at it.
If you want to get a Hornets’ perspective on the game, check out our friends At the Hive.