NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets

2016-17 Results

Record: 47 – 35 (6th in the West)

Season Ended: Lost in the 1st Round to the Rockets (5 games)

Key Additions

Draft

Terrance Ferguson (SG/SF)

Free Agency

Raymond Felton (PG), Patrick Patterson (PF)

Trade

Carmelo Anthony (SF/PF), Paul George (SG/SF)

Key Subtractions

Taj Gibson, Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis

Projected Starters (Last year averages)

PG: Russell Westbrook (32 pts, 11 reb, 10 ast)

SG: Andre Roberson (7 pts, 5 reb, 1 ast)

SF: Paul George (24 pts, 7 reb, 3 ast)

PF: Carmelo Anthony (22 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast)

C: Steven Adams (11 pts, 8 reb, 1 blk)

Key Reserves

Patrick Patterson (PF), Alex Abrines (SG), Raymond Felton (PG)

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Major Story lines

The Big OK3 – After Westrbook carried the city on his back last year and watched The Snake/Cupcake/Catfish (whatever we’re calling KD these days) ride off into the sunset with a ring. He needed help, and this summer Sam Presti went and got it. They were able to bring in both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to assist Westrbook in his quest to take the West and it will be interesting to see how the trio comes together.

Mike Predictions (67 – 15) (2nd in the West)

  • The Thunder are knocked out in the 2nd Round – Unlike the Warriors collection the Thunder trio is comprised of 3 guys that NEED to take the shot no matter how bad they are at it. Over the past 5 seasons all 3 are shooting below 30% from the field in the last minute of a game separated by 3 points. This rears it’s ugly head when they are challenged in the playoffs and ultimately causes their downfall.
  • Paul George Leaves – After the disappointing finish to what was otherwise a great season, Paul George decides he needs to be the guy somewhere and heads to the West Coast. I haven’t decided which team yet (Sacramento???) but I do think he’s gone.

Josh Predictions (53-29) (4th in the West)

  • Terrance Ferguson cracks the starting rotation – Andre Roberson is a phenomenal defender. That’s the only reason he’s getting paid $10 million a year. Because his shooting is garbage. Ferguson on the other hand could be an effective 3 & D guy eventually. If he can show some elite defending capabilities and match his .429 3P% from the preseason, I think he could take Roberson’s spot and give Russ yet another weapon to bolster OKC’s offense (not that they necessarily need it now).
  • Thunder meet the Warriors in the playoffs – The is probably more wishful thinking than an actual prediction, but I think we’re gonna see the Thunder and the Warriors meet in an epic postseason series this year. Russ vs KD. The OKC big 3 vs the GS big 4. Westbrook’s “easy to defend” style of play vs everyone on the court not in an OKC uniform. Man this would be great, especially if the Thunder could somehow pull off an upset. However I think Russ, Melo, and PG13 fail to get past the second round this year.
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