The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t purported to win video games this season. Doing so would go in opposition to the franchise’s long-term plans. After buying and selling Russell Westbrook and Paul George two years in the past, Oklahoma Metropolis has gone into full rebuild mode. That’s the type strategy to put it. Extra precisely, the Thunder are tanking as shamelessly as any group because the ‘Course of’ period Philadelphia 76ers.
Oklahoma Metropolis has crammed the roster virtually solely with younger gamers who don’t know how you can win. Extra losses imply improved odds in thelottery for the possibility to land a celebrity within the draft. Tanking isn’t as interesting because it as soon as was after the league flattened the odds for the worst groups just a few years again, however the Thunder nonetheless assume it’s their greatest shot at constructing a contender in one of many league’s smallest markets. Regardless of already having some thrilling younger items, OKC doesn’t plan on being aggressive once more for not less than just a few extra years.
Some folks thought the Thunder would win six video games all season. As an alternative, Oklahoma Metropolis gained six of its first 15 video games earlier than beginning an extended dropping streak. For probably the most half, the Thunder have been fairly enjoyable even when they’re unhealthy. That modified after they confronted the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night time when issues received traditionally ugly.
The Thunder didn’t simply lose to a Grizzlies group taking part in with out Ja Morant. They misplaced by 73 factors. That’s the largest loss in NBA historical past. Memphis additionally scored its most factors in franchise historical past within the 152-79 win. The Grizzlies have been an 11.5-point favourite at DraftKings Sportsbook.
After the sport, the Thunder tweeted this.
Typically when life will get robust, there’s nothing else to do however tweet by it. It is a masterclass in tweeting by it.
The Thunder didn’t have star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was out with a concussion, or promising rookie Josh Giddey. They nonetheless ought to have been in a position to put up a combat in opposition to a Grizzlies group with out Morant, although. OKC let the Grizzlies shoot 62.5 p.c from the sphere and 52.8 p.c from three-point vary. OKC completed with virtually twice as many turnovers because the Grizzlies. Memphis completed with 41 assists (!) to solely 14 for OKC.
Need to watch a 10-minute spotlight bundle of the Grizzlies giving the Thunder the worst loss ever? Right here it’s:
After the sport, the Twitter trending matters by chance put projected No. 1 total decide Paolo Banchero as one of many group’s sidelined stars. Is that this an indication from the longer term?
It’s virtually becoming this loss occurred on the day I released a primer on the 2023 NBA Draft class. There are some legit celebrity prospects in that class, and Sam Presti and the remainder of the Thunder braintrust is actually extraordinarily conscious of it. Possibly the ping-pong balls will bounce the best manner sooner or later and OKC could have its subsequent Kevin Durant or Westbrook or Harden.
If not? The Thunder higher begin including some veteran expertise to the roster quickly. Thunder followers have been extremely loyal by the years, and so they don’t deserve to look at a product like this.