Coming into this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were expected to rest at the bottom of the standings again as their rebuild continues. The injury of Chet Holmgren further solidified those expectations.
The expectations for the team leaves the Thunder as the underdogs in nearly every matchup, and with a 7-9 record, they’ve upset some teams.
With the general assumption around the Thunder being that they’re a bad team, they’re often underestimated and catch a surprise when the Thunder continue to fight, even when they start the game with a solid deficit.
The fight and competition goes beyond Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, too. It’s easy to point their oversuccess to his success, but the rest of the squad has provided plenty of help, too. For example, against the Memphis Grizzlies, Gilgeous-Alexander took much of the defense's attention which caused him to struggle offensively. The rest of the squad stepped up and helped the Thunder remain competitive throughout the game.
With the entire team coming together to remain competitive, the Thunder are 10-6 against the spread. The betting odds usually don’t favor the Thunder, but they’ve been able to cover the spread in games that they didn’t win, simply because they were able to play the opposing team close enough.
To be able to cover in a loss against good teams is an impressive step for the Thunder and it’s a good sign moving forward. With another year of consistently competing night in and night out, despite the result of the game, the Thunder should be able to take another step forward in their rebuild.