NBA analyst and basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas has just come out with a bold claim that will not make Oklahoma City Thunder supporters happy. According to the 57-year-old, he believes that the Thunder will not make the [layoffs this coming season.
Thomas made his brash prediction on a recent appearance on NBA TV. The two-time NBA champion is not confident that Russell Westrbook and Paul George will be able to carry the Thunder to the playoffs in an overly competitive Western Conference.
“I don't know if these two alone can even get to the playoffs,” said Thomas.
This is quite a controversial projection given the Thunder finished fourth in the West last year with 48 wins. The recent departure of Carmelo Anthony is viewed by most as a plus for the team, and many believe that OKC have become a stronger side without him.
Let's not forget that Westrbook is just one season removed from being the league MVP, and, despite a dip in his output, still played out of his mind last season. This year should be no different, even after a minor injury setback before the season.
For his part, George is a proven All-Star and is showing absolutely no signs of long-term damage from his gruesome leg injury from four years ago.
Thomas may be arguing from the perspective that the West has become even more competitive this season. Indeed, the Thunder may slip a few spots down from their fourth-place finish last season, but to say that they will miss the playoffs altogether is something that is very hard to swallow for the Thunder faithful.