Why is nobody concerned about the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder lineup is going to be a really tough guard if they can find a way to get into the playoffs. I know we are a long way from the tournament – but they have some heat on that team, and I think more should be keeping an eye on them. They have several guys who are all above average to top end shooters, with 3 guys who can knock down 46% or better from the floor who take 12 or more shots / game, and they don’t have anyone on the team who soaks up a ton of wasted possessions, chucking up bad shots. They have a handful of guys who can also put the ball on the floor, and make plays as well.
Dennis Schroder has compiled an impressive body of work statistically with 18ppg and 47% shooting – coming off the bench, and still amassing 31 minutes /game. Schroder was the teams best player vs 2 of the better teams in the conference, the Clippers and vs the Jazz during a 2 week stretch, when he netted 28 and 27 points on 49% shooting in those games, which shows he can get it done with ease. Schroder hasn’t had great postseason success – when playing with Atlanta for his first 4 years in the league, with just one strong run in 14-15 when he didn’t get a lot of shots and never saw the court much.
Chris Paul’s shot creation skills off ISO plays have been incredibly good for a guy of his age. Paul turned 34 years old and has been having his best shooting season since 16-17 season, at 47%. He is super effective, and still plays good defense, as well, as he is tops on the team in steals. At 34 years old – he is bringing the veteran leadership for this team, Paul has everything you could want from an offensive centerpiece, including, the veteran smarts to not force bad shots. Paul can fade off into the corner, not touching the ball, then suddenly has 4 quick possessions in a row where he is either scoring or assisting. Could you imagine what he could have done for this team in his prime?
Then there is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – who looks incredibly comfortable on the court with exceptional scoring skills. As a scorer, he’s the real deal – getting to the rim whenever he wants to, and he can drop shots from all over the court, he attacks with ease off the dribble going to the bucket, his 19.9 ppg is tops on the team. I actually think he is one of the better scoring jump shooters I’ve seen in awhile, and is showing more at a young age than many players. I also feel his quickness off the ball is very good, as he gets separation off the dribble and can drive to the rack. He isn’t an All-Star yet – but he is as close as it gets. His potential is sky high, as well at the fact that he is very athletic, and of course, he is just 21 years old.
If Paul can lead this Thunder team and sneak into the playoffs this year, as a potential 6th or 7th seed, they match up well vs a currently 2nd seeded Denver team, who they have played tough this year so far. Steven Adams is good for a double-double every night with points and rebounds. OKC is a good team, that could be a tough out if they make it to the NBA playoffs.

Is Zion Williamson the next NBA Super Star

Zion was a beast and the best player in the nation in high school a few years ago – many former players have said he was a man playing with boys out on the court. And his play in college has been arguably some of the most impressive I have seen in years, and was the best player in college basketball. What I have watched, is a man ready to play the game vs other men. But, you obviously just never really know how good a player will be when entering the league.
LeBron  James never played college basketball, and came straight out of high school and many of the media already had him pegged as being better than most of the league, which in turn, I really think hindered some of his “like-ability.” But, when LeBron was coming out of high school – he probably was better than probably 50% of the NBA.
That is far from false.
And when he came into the league, and was faster and quicker than everyone over 6-6 despite being the size of PF, and put up 21-6-6 in his rookie year in 2003. So young players, the right young players, can make some impressive and ridiculous impacts on the court very quickly.
Zion is one of those players I think will make a fast impact.
Zion Williamson was a phenomenal college player, putting up 23ppg and 9 rpg – and he comes with a massive amount of potential. His drive to the hoop can be a little sloppy at times, but he has a savage knack to be able to still get his shot up. I don’t think Zion is going to dominate the NBA immediately when stepping on the court, and will need to improve his game, and he will need to continue to work on his shot. But, in the same sense, I think any player worth a lick of being a great – works on his shot and his game. He has mostly been muscling kids on the court – and hadn’t shown a steady and reliable shot. It took Blake Griffin several years before he became more than just a dunker, as he came out in 2009 from Oklahoma as a box player only and dominant PF. Griffin in college, was a wrecking ball who crushed teams with power and leaping ability. Now he has himself a very solid shot, and plays good D, as well.
Those who want to bang on Zion Williamson – let the 19 year old play his first NBA game before people start to “hate” on him. He has shown he has a tremendous work ethic, and he is only going to get stronger, and more explosive as he gets older and more learned. And as his body matures and he gets more acclimated to the NBA – I think it could be awesome and a lot of fun to watch. That’s what I find so intriguing about him- he has such an explosive part to his game that is really exciting and raw – and he isn’t anywhere close his prime yet.
I don’t understand how the thought of a young guys being considered a top tier player as a rookie is so incredibly unheard of. When KD came into the NBA in his first year, back in 2007 – he put up 20ppg and he was just 19, Karl-Anthony Towns at 20, grabbed 11rpg and scored 18/game. Luka Doncic is only 19 years old- and is putting up 21 / 8 / 6 in the NBA. All very young when playing the game at a frightening level. We can all look at guys like Kwame Brown and Greg Oden, and think how they just fell apart at the next level. But, I think Zion’s definitely a better prospect than either of them – so if he does what he is expected to do – he will be just fine.
Can we guarantee Zion is going to be that good? No.
Can he be? Absolutely.