Oklahoma City Thunder: NBA Restart 2020 Preview, Prediction, Picks

Oklahoma City Thunder: NBA Restart 2020 Preview, Prediction, Picks Photo by Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Preview

NBA Returns July 31

Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Title Odds: +10000

The Oklahoma City Thunder are going to make the NBA playoffs for a fifth straight season and hope to be a surprise team when the season returns in July.

The Oklahoma City Thunder entered the break with wins in eight of their last 10 games and were an impressive 20-11 on the road. This was supposed to be a rebuilding season for the Thunder, but they’ve proven to be way ahead of the curve and have now become a thorn in the West that could pull off an upset or two. Get NBA Picks and NBA Predictions for EVERY GAME at Sports Chat Place.  

Let’s give a quick breakdown of the Thunder remaining schedule and how the break impacts the squad moving forward as we gear up for NBA playoff basketball in Orlando.  

Remaining Thunder Schedule: vs. Jazz, Wizards, Grizzlies, Nuggets, Heat, Nuggets, Suns, Clippers

Roster Update: Darius Bazley hasn’t played since early February due to a knee bone bruise, but he was recently playing a pickup basketball game, indicating he’s probably ready to go. Bazley is averaging 17.2 minutes and 4.5 points in 53 games his rookie season. Reports also indicate that Andre Roberson is fully recovered from knee surgery and will play when play returns. Roberson, who is one of the better defenders in the league when healthy, hasn’t played since January of 2018.     

Help Or Hurt: Getting Roberson back in the mix is massive for OKC and that alone helps this club if it’s going to make noise in the playoffs. Roberson is one of the best defenders in the league and is one of a few players on this roster who has playoff experience. Other than that, the break hurts the OKC Thunder, as this was a team that was rolling before the hiatus and the last thing you want is for things to suddenly stop. The Oklahoma City Thunder are also one of the younger rosters in the league, as Danilo Gallinari and Chris Paul are the only players who are in their 30s, so who knows how these youngsters are going to handle these bizarre events. You can expect a veteran team to roll with the punches and be ready for whatever comes, but the inexperience raises questions for what to expect coming out of quarantine.   

Potential Seeding: The Thunder are currently the fifth seed in the West but have the same record as the Houston Rockets. The Thunder are just 2.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the third seed and only 1.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for the seventh seed. Basically, the Thunder could realistically end up anywhere between the third seed and the seventh seed. As long as OKC avoids the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers in the first round, they should consider it a victory.

Odds: The Thunder are +5000 to win the West and +10000 to win the NBA title. The Thunder are too inexperienced to truly make a run and make these odds worthy of a bet, so I won’t participate in either of these options. However, the Thunder were the best covering team in the NBA this season with a 40-24 ATS record and are a team we’ve made a ton of money on, especially on the road where they’ve been covering machines. So while I won’t be involved in the future market in OKC, I will be making individual bets on the Thunder to continue covering games at a high percentage.

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.