The Oklahoma City Thunder sit at 29-12 with 41 games left on the slate. Looking at the glass half full (which I normally do), the Thunder record could easily be better, losing eight times in the first half by six points or less. The second half of the season will be tougher on the road from what we've noticed record wise -- at Dallas (2) at Golden State (2) at San Antonio (2) at L.A. Clippers (1) at Indiana (1) at Houston (1).
The home schedule features some challenges as well starting tonight vs. Miami, Houston (Jan. 29), vs. Orlando (Feb. 3) vs. Indiana (Feb. 19), vs. Cleveland (Feb. 21), vs. Golden State (Feb. 27) vs. L.A. Clippers (March 9). The stretch run will be tough on Oklahoma City, playing seven out of their last ten games away from Chesapeake Energy Arena.
If you're looking for a potential long winning streak, the Thunder maybe building one at the moment, currently at three with winnable games that could lead up to a 13-game winning streak before they play at Golden State on February 6. If OKC wants to move up a spot in the Western Conference standings (currently 3rd) they need to start reeling up consecutive wins to catchup to San Antonio.
From where I sit, here's a look at the good and bad that have caught my eye in the first 41 games.
-Beating San Antonio on opening night, it proves this team can compete against the best.
-Russell Westbrook's long range 3-pointer to send the game in overtime at Orlando. (incredible shot)
-The Verizon Center in Washington D.C., I didn't see much from the setting to lure "KD2DC."
-With Kevin Durant out (hamstring), Russell and company defeated the Mavs at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
-Billy Donovan adapting to his new team, he's quick to call a timeout when things go south on the court.
-Westbrook scores 43 in the home win over New Orleans, Durant out of the lineup.
-The second trip to Memphis was incredible, the Grizzlies had no answer to OKC's pick and roll and cruised to a 125-88 victory.
-Thunder squeaked out a one point win at Staples Center against the Clippers. Durant hits a shot and blocks a shot late to secure win number 19.
-Kevin Durant sprained his big toe and only missed one game.
-Russell Westbrook notches another triple-double, take your pick, they're all impressive.
-The emergence of Rookie Cameron Payne, a quality point guard is being developed right in front of us.
-Kevin Durant missing 6 games with a hamstring injury, OKC goes 3-3 in his absence.
-Losing to Boston at home, sure KD was out, but they lost by 15 points. Marcus Smart scored 26 for the Celtics.
-The Knicks win at the Peake, KD was still out, Thunder rally in the 4th falls short.
-Almost losing to Sacramento at home in December and the Kings came back and defeated the Thunder by 12 points at the Peake in early January.
-A Christmas day dud against the Chicago Bulls, that's all I got, Thunder fans expect better on a special occasion.
-Watching Damian Lillard have an All-Star second half against the Thunder in Portland, while OKC came up with empty possessions late in crunch time, Portland wins by five.
-The OKC bench, full of up and downs, forcing Billy to keep KD or Russ out there at times to help maintain a scoring punch.