Coming into last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season was surrounded with questions following the departure of Kevin Durant. While Oklahoma City fans stayed loyal and cheered the Thunder on from the start of the season to the finish, it was a bumpy road at times.
Aside from the 2014-15 season when the Thunder dealt with a ridiculous number of injuries, including Durant’s foot issues which caused him to miss 45 games, the 2016-17 season was the worst record-wise since the Thunder’s inaugural season in 2008-09. Oklahoma lost 35 times in the regular season, but they were still able to capture the 6-seed in the Western Conference, where they were bounced in the first round by the Houston Rockets.
35 losses is a lot for a team that has been a fairly consistent contender in the NBA over the last several years, but the tale of each loss is a crazy one. Of the 35 losses, 20 of them were by double digits, 14 of which were by 15 points or more, and 8 of which were by a ridiculous 20 points or more. On the bright side, 12 of the 35 were by 5 points or fewer, including 7 which were by only 2 or 3 points.
The biggest difference in last season concerning the record compared to more recent seasons was the Thunder’s inability to win games that they realistically should have won. Of the 35 losses, 11 came against eventual non-playoff teams. Also, they had their worst home win percentage since their second season, and their worst away win percentage in 9 seasons in Oklahoma City. When it comes down to it, quality teams don’t lose to significantly worse opponents, and the Thunder allowed that to happen too many times last season. Only time will tell if the revamped roster will be able to turn things around and push the team in the right direction this upcoming season.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.