Following some interesting offseason additions, here are five predictions for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2018-19 NBA season.
The 2017-18 NBA season didn’t go as planned for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Following the offseason additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony via trade, the Thunder were optimistic that they had finally gathered enough firepower to overcome the loss of Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016 and thus be able to genuinely compete in the brutal Western Conference.
However after being accustomed to being the go-to scorer over his first 14 seasons in the league, Anthony was simply unable to adjust to his role as the third banana behind Russell Westbrook and George.
As a result, the 10-time All-Star shot a career-worst 40.4 percent from the field, with his 22.6 usage rate also a career low. Despite Anthony’s struggles, the Thunder managed to secure 48 wins and the all-important home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the Thunder’s inconsistencies throughout the regular season caught up with them and were bundled out in six games by the Utah Jazz. The upshot of this playoff exit was a noticeable change in personnel.
The most notable change came when the Thunder jettisoned Anthony in a three-team deal that ultimately landed them guard Dennis Schroder. Furthermore, the Thunder also acquired former lottery pick Nerlens Noel in free agency.
While both Schroder and Noel will primarily feature in backup roles, the infusion of some young players with pedigree into the second unit should provide plenty of hope for the Thunder as a whole.
So on the eve of what promises to be an exciting season, here are five predictions for 2018-19.