When the 2019-20 NBA regular season was suspended on March 12th, the Oklahoma City Thunder were 40-24 and in third place in the Northwest division 2 ½ games behind first-place Denver. In addition, the Thunder were in fifth place in the Western Conference standings 9 ½ games behind the first-place Los Angeles Lakers and tied with the sixth place Houston Rockets but ahead of the Rockets thanks to owning the tiebreaker between the two teams.
Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderIs the leading scorer for Oklahoma City with an average of 19.3 points per game, while Danilo Gallinari is close behind with an average of 19.2 points per game and Dennis Schroder has an average of 19.0 points per game. Chris Paul is the fourth leading scorer but leads the Thunder in assists with averages of 17.7 points and 6.8 assists per game. Steven Adams is the leading rebounder for the Thunder with an average of 9.4 per game.
It seemed as though the Oklahoma City Thunder would be going through a complete rebuild this season after trading away both Russell Westbrook and Paul George during the offseason last summer. In late November, the Thunder were 6-11 and mired in 11th place in the West but quickly turned things around and just the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers have better records since Thanksgiving in the Western Conference than Oklahoma City. Veteran point guard Chris Paul has been the catalyst but other players such as Dennis Schroder and future star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have helped carry the Thunder.
Although Oklahoma City is in fifth place in the Western Conference standings, the Thunder are 28th in made three pointers and that could be a weak point in their game on the restart of the regular season and into the postseason. Danilo Gallinari hits over 40% of his 3-pointers but overall Oklahoma City doesn't have many shooters from long range. Another worry for Oklahoma City whether veteran guard Chris Paul can remain healthy. Paul has played 63 of the team’s 64 games this season but if Paul goes down with an injury it could be detrimental for the Thunder. Paul has not played more than 70 games in any season for the last five years.
When the season restarts on July 31, Oklahoma City well battle it out with both Denver and Utah for the Northwest division title anda top four seed in the Western Conference to open up the postseason with home court advantage in the first round. However, the lack of depth for Oklahoma City will begin to come into play as the regular season comes to a conclusion and the defensive oriented postseason takes hold. Expect the Thunder to finish third in the Northwest and be eliminated in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.