In the ongoing 2023-24 season, the Oklahoma City Thunder find themselves in an intriguing situation.
While they have secured a commendable 5-0 record against Eastern Conference teams during their road games, they’ve faced adversity when squaring off against Western Conference opponents, currently holding a 0-3 record in that regard.
This stark contrast in their performance against the two conferences could have significant implications as the season progresses, particularly when considering factors like tiebreakers and conference records.
Notably, the Thunder’s recent triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers marked their fifth consecutive victory against Eastern teams, a noteworthy achievement. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was instrumental in the game as he dropped 43 points.
🔥 Shai 🔥
Et avec un seul 3-pts s’il vous plaît 👌
⚡️ 43 PTS
⚡️ 15/22 FG
⚡️ 12/13 FT
⚡️ 1/2 3-PT
⚡️ 7 REB
⚡️ 6 AST
⚡️ 3 STL
✅ win vs Cavspic.twitter.com/073oTDGuhZ
— Basket-Infos (@Basket_Infos) November 9, 2023
However, their struggles in the Western Conference have raised questions about which teams have been their formidable adversaries.
These losses primarily stemmed from challenging matchups against some of the Western Conference’s elite, including the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors. Additionally, they suffered a defeat against Zion Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans.
Despite the Thunder showcasing a robust offensive performance with an impressive offensive rating of 115.2 (ranking 7th in the NBA) and the league’s best true shooting percentage, there remains room for improvement in generating more shot attempts.
Remarkably efficient in terms of field goal percentage (49.5%) and three-point shooting (39.3%), the Thunder has been surprisingly low in terms of shot attempts, ranking 26th in the league with an average of 86.6 field goal attempts per game, despite playing at a fast pace and having a substantial number of possessions.
Looking ahead, the Thunder is gearing up to face the Sacramento Kings in the in-season tournament, aiming to secure a victory.
This upcoming game presents a promising opportunity for the Thunder, given that the Kings will be without key players, Trey Lyles and De’Aaron Fox. The absence of these stars offers a significant advantage to the Thunder.
With optimism and determination, the Thunder looks forward to altering their fortunes against Western Conference opponents and potentially clinching their first victory away from home against the Kings on Friday night in Sacramento.