OKC Thunder: Dust Bowl Contender?

A team that truly came out of nowhere last season was the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The Thunder were eliminated in the first round of last season’s playoffs, but not before throwing a very real scare into the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.

I think we can expect the Thunder to do even better this season.  I have OKC projected to win 54.2 games in 2010-11.  The team is full of young talent, and this summer they added the interesting big man prospect Cole Aldrich of Kansas to their stable.  For all the world, he reminds me of the severly underrated former Utah Jazz center Greg Ostertag.  Ostertag was a very productive mainstay on the extremely strong Jazz teams of the late 1990s.  I envision Aldrich playing the same role for the Jazz. 

I believe the one player in the regular Thunder rotation that is holding them back from truly being a special team is PF Jeff Green.  Green is not a power forward, he is a middling small forward miscast in the role of power forward.  He gets consistently outplayed by power forward counterparts, and that has a dilatory effect on Oklahoma’s win production. 

Below I list the projected wins and losses I expect each player on the Thunder roster to produce next season.  The numbers are based upon the statistics produced by each player over the course of the last three seasons, along with some educated guesses at how playing time will be distributed throughout the roster.

2010-11 OKC Thunder Estimated Win Chart
1. K Durant…15.5__(-2.2)
2. R Westbrook…9.0__2.8
3. T. Sefolosha..6.0__2.7
4. J Harden…4.2__2.4
5. S Ibaka…3.9__2.1
6. C Aldrich…3.6__2.0
7. J Green…3.0__8.5
8. N Collison…3.0__2.0
9. E Maynor…2.0__1.9
10. M Peterson…1.2__2.3
11. D Cook…1.1__2.0
12. D White…1.0__0.2
13. R Ivey…0.4__0.8
Projected Record:  54.2__27.8  

4 Responses to “OKC Thunder: Dust Bowl Contender?”

  1. nerdnumbers Says:

    Hey Ty,
    I put the same comment about Green on my addon to Mosi’s suggestions to all of the NBA teams. How about this Green to Cleveland for Varejo? Even PER thinks this is in OKC’s favor but the real benefit to Cleveland is the savings in the contract difference. It keeps OKC relatively young and still well priced and if Cole Aldrich pans out it makes OKC vs Miama a potential rivalry for the next five years.

    • tywill33 Says:

      The exact same comment? Or just the same argument? I hope it wasn’t substantially similar. If it was, I wonder if I read it and forgot and then regurgitated it as original material. That’s one of my big fears. I read stuff, store it away, then revisit it much later and at that time I usually have no idea if its original or something I came up with. I would never intentionally lift anything, but the “My Sweet Lord” case established that unintentional plagiarism is nonetheless plagiarism.

      Sorry if that was the case. Sloppy.

  2. nerdnumbers Says:

    Woah woah woah! I just said the OKC Thunder need to realize Durant and Green are both SFs and trade one and likely not the one almost leading the league in wins 🙂 For the record that is not a new argument and I’ve heard it many times. The odd part is I’ve heard it in reverse “Green needs to be traded!” “Yeah, but he’s really good! He is just playing out of position.” “Your solution is to what? Stop playing Durant?”

    You’ve been doing this way longer than me so I’m more scared of saying something you or DJ have already posted in your great histories 🙂 That said, can we agree that Varejo on OKC would be amazing?

    • tywill33 Says:

      Did you just comment on my comment from two seconds ago? That’s turnaround!

      Sorry about the misunderstanding. I’m trying to return comments on the weeks worth of comments, so I’m reading the little captioned versions on the dashboard. Oops!

      Dangerous practice! I hope you didn’t think I was saying that you were accusing me of anything… that wasn’t the case. I was more or less yelling at myself.

      No worries!!

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