NBA Power Rankings #7: Oklahoma City Thunder
photo via flickr
The Oklahoma City Thunder showed that the gamble for Paul George was worth it. OKC secured the all-star wing on a four-year $137 million dollar contract while also shedding the Carmelo Anthony contract in a trade with the Hawks that sent point guard Dennis Schroder to the Thunder. While Russell Westbrook wasn't able to play the first game he was thankfully able to get back for game two of eighty-two. With the former MVP, the addition of Schroder, the ability of PG13 to take over a game, and the energy their depth brings to the court should be enough to hold the team over in the meantime.
Once Westbrook is able to play, you can expect a very similar season compared to last year for the Thunder. OKC should be in the fifty win range yet again with a triple double season from Westbrook and I'd imagine an even better season from Paul George now being settled in and not having to worry about Camerlo Anthony getting touches.
With the addiction of Dennis Schroder to the line-up, the Thunder will have a excellent back-up point guard who can run the offense when Westbrook is off the court and can also serve as a potential starter if Westbrook has any injuries throughout the course of the season.
The Thunder should be in a position to get home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They should be able to get around that 52 win mark and if we're lucky, we just may get a Warriors/Thunder second round match-up in the Western Conference.