2016-2017 NBA Previews – Thunder Odds
Looking for 2016 Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions? We’ve got your back. The Oklahoma City Thunder are ready (or at least hoping) to prove doubters wrong this season. With Kevin Durant taking his talents to the Golden State Warriors, it’s time for the Russell Westbrook show.
Oklahoma City Thunder Season Preview
Head Coach: Billy Donovan
2015-16 Record: 55-27
Thunder Odds to NBA Title: +4000
Thunder Odds to Win Conference: +2000
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If there’s one thing that’s become clear in recent seasons, it’s that a motivated Westbrook is nothing to mess with.
There are varying opinions of how this team will finish in 2016-17, but one consensus thought is that OKC’s star point guard is about to make the league his with talent, ferocity and motivation coming together to create the perfect storm for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City Thunder Strengths:
Westbrook enters the year as the odds-on favorite to take home MVP hardware. He currently sits at +200, per Bovada, ahead of Stephen Curry and LeBron James (+450), then Durant, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden (+1000).
Westbrook, a triple-double machine and already one of the game’s top players a year ago, now has the motivation to lead his team to success in a post-Durant era.
The summer’s biggest story was KD leaving for Golden State, but what Westbrook saw was his friend leaving for the enemy and only letting him know via text message.
That would be motivation for anybody to destroy, but knowing what we know about Westbrook, we can expect him to go into full kill mode this season.
Sticking with the backcourt, Oklahoma City has given Westbrook a new partner in crime in Victor Oladipo. Combined, the two should create for one of the most explosive, physical backcourts in the entire Association.
Moving to the frontcourt, Steven Adams’ development has been a lot of fun to watch. Yes, his hair and gotten longer and his mustache thicker, but his presence around the rim has reached a new level on both ends of the court.
This team also has Enes Kanter to provide more pure scoring at the big man positions.
Oklahoma City Thunder Weaknesses:
As fun as it’s going to be watching Westbrook take over games, there’s no denying this team loses something significant with Durant no longer on board. The former MVP is a near-lock for at least 20 points per game.
OKC is now down a player whose range is “in the gym,” meaning there’s a lot to make up for this upcoming season.
One thing that the Thunder and their fans were hoping to see when Billy Donovan took over a year ago was a more creative, fluent offense.
The offensive side of the floor had a tendency to get stale under Scott Brooks, but the problem in 2015-16 was that Donovan didn’t do much to improve that.
Entering this season, there’s reason for concern when it comes to how creative OKC’s offense can be under Donovan — especially now that it’s missing one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen.
Then again, with Durant gone and the pressure off to keep two all-world superstars happy with shot attempts, Donovan may be able to unleash the playbook in ways he simply couldn’t during his first year with the franchise.
Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Prediction: 48-34
Vegas has pegged the over/under for the Thunder this season at 45.5. We’re going slightly over at this juncture, but OKC is a tricky team to predict.
Two years ago when Durant missed significant time and OKC barely missed the playoffs, Westbrook led the team to a 45-47 record.
That was without Oladipo added to the backcourt, and without the motivation that now fuels one of the game’s top point guards to find success.
If Westbrook can truly become the leader that the Thunder need, a fourth or fifth seed is a realistic goal. If the team struggles during its first post-Durant season, sneaking in as the eighth becomes a reality.
Assuming the former is what takes place, OKC will exceed the over/under. Keep an eye early in the year on how well Westbrook is getting his teammates involved, and how efficient he’s playing on a nightly basis.
2016 NBA Gambling
What do you think about our 2016 Oklahoma City Thunder predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in the 2016-2017 NBA Season!
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