With a healthy Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Oklahoma City Thunder were a bubble team jockeying for a spot in the playoffs. Without their top scorer, the Thunder are one of the worst teams in the NBA. The Thunder (20-37) are the coldest team in the NBA right now after they recently extended their losing streak to 10 games.
The Thunder are only 1-13 since losing Gilgeous-Alexander to a foot injury in late March.
During their current losing streak, the Thunder are 1-9 ATS. The low-scoring Thunder are 25-31-1 against the spread this season. Since the All-Star break, the Thunder are 5-16 straight up and fade-worthy material at 6-15 ATS.
The Thunder, ranked #28 in the NBA in scoring, only average 105.3 points per game. During their 10-game losing streak, the Thunder are averaging only 100.8 ppg.
When the Thunder score, they win. Sounds trite, but the Thunder are 5-0 since the All-Star Break when they score at least 112 points.
The Thunder are the third-worst team in the Western Conference. They’re lucky that the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets are so bad this season, otherwise, the Thunder would be the worst team in the West.
With just 20 wins this season, only four teams have fewer wins than the Thunder. However, the Thunder are approaching the 40-loss plateau, which currently includes the bottom-feeding Detroit Pistons (40), Houston Rockets (42), and Minnesota Timberwolves (43).
No SGA, Tank City Thunder
Whether you think the Thunder just suck or are tanking for a lottery pick, they’ve been playing ugly basketball without Gilgeous-Alexander.
Gilgeous-Alexander, 22, led the Thunder with 23.7 ppg this season. He’s become a scoring force in this third NBA season and his second overall with the Thunder. He averaged 19 ppg last season.
Gilgeous-Alexander suffered a plantar fasciitis injury, which has been slow to heal. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks, but there’s a chance the Thunder shut him down for the rest of the season.
“SGA definitely progressed, but not to the point we would have liked,” said Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault. “He’s probably a little bit behind what we were looking for.”
Last week, a red-hot Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors pummeled the Thunder when they scored 147 points in a 38-point blowout.
“We played good defense for like a quarter and a half,” explained Thunder guard Svi Mykhailiuk. “And then after that, I felt we became real lazy and stopped really communicating. We just started getting lost a little bit, and that was it.”
That’s the problem with teams stuck in a losing funk. When they fall behind early in a game, they roll over and die. Winning teams keep fighting until the final buzzer.
On Deck: Wizards, Pacers, Wizards Again
The Thunder are in the middle of a four-game road trip with away games against the Washington Wizards on Monday and the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
The Thunder return home to OKC for one game on Friday night against the Wizards before they hit the road next week for games against the first-place Philadelphia 76ers and the surging Boston Celtics.
With two games against the Wiz this week, the Thunder have two spots where they can get off the schneid. Otherwise, the Thunder will join the 40-loss club by next week.