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Far-Fetched Friday: OKC Thunder Will Be 6th Seed
By: Khaqan Khan
If you haven't been paying attention, there's a storm a-brewin' in Oklahoma City. Clearly, this team is done tanking, but are we underrating how capable this team is? One of the youngest teams in league history that plays hard with an unselfish and fluid brand of basketball. 10th in defensive rating. 14th in offensive rating. With less than a month to go, the Thunder sit at 9th in the western conference 34-36, only two games behind the 6th seed Dallas Mavericks. Young and hungry to prove themselves, and with no real threat behind them combined with the teams in front of them out of place, the Thunder will avoid the play-in as the 6th seed.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we go to Oklahoma City.
You already know the type of season Shai-Gilgeous Alexander is having, and you probably know Josh Giddey can pass. But the secret ingredient is the rookie from Santa Clara, Jalen Williams.
Jalen Williams's last 15 games:
What's remarkable about his game is how steady he is for a rookie. He always seems in control and unfazed on both sides of the ball. He has seemingly avoided the rookie wall and has only improved throughout the season. The Thunder are feeling the absence of Kenrich Williams, whose swiss army knife energy kept the defense solid even without solid rim protection. Look for J-dub to step up in that role.
The sneakiest pick up of the season might be claiming Isaiah Joe off waivers at the start of the year. He has quickly become one of the better 3pt shooters in the NBA. Shooting 43% on five attempts a game. His shooting has earned him more minutes, and he's used those minutes to establish himself as a frisky defender. Joe is not a good defender, but he gives enough effort to not be a practice cone.
This team is only getting better and better. The chemistry and the mentality these young guys play with is an anomaly for young rosters. From my perspective, mainstream basketball is still warming up to the idea of the Thunder not tanking anymore, but that doesn't matter because the guys on the roster know how good they can be.
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