The Oklahoma City Thunder have played out of their minds this season. Last night, the Thunder defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 134-91 for their fifth straight win. It's not just about five games in a row either. Against Portland, OKC made a season-high 22 3-pointers, the Thunder's bench combined for 70 points, and nobody in an OKC jersey missed a single free throw.
After the game, ESPN's Matt Williams reported that they are the first team in at least the last 25 years to shoot 60 percent from the field, 60 percent on 3-pointers and 100 percent on free throws in a single game.
Considering the Thunder had a sub-25 win season three years ago, these numbers are mind-blowing. The Thunder are currently 10-4 and have the most wins in the Western Conference. They lead the league in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and free throw percentage. However, is this merely a case of small sample size delusion, or is this real?
Isaiah Joe told reporters after the game that this win showed the Thunder's mental fortitude.
"To be able to come off of a tough overtime game against the Warriors and to be able to have the resillience and the focus to execute our gameplan in today's game. Really gotta commend the guys, commend the staff, we had a good gameplan coming in and everybody took it upon themselves to be a pro and just get theirselves ready for today's game and we treated it as if it was any other game. It didn't even seem like it was a back to back."
Isaiah Joe has been a key reason for the Thunder's perimeter success this season. After getting waived by the Philadelphia 76ers in October of last season, the Thunder swooped in and picked him up for cheap. He's a major reason why the Thunder currently have the highest 3-point differential in the league at plus-7.2.
It's unlikely that Isaiah Joe will shoot 7-of-7 from 3 every game, but Thunder-mania is not to be ignored. Despite being in the bottom three of the league in rebound differential, this team keeps winning.
On defense, they hold opponents to 43.5 percent shooting from the field (best in the league) and 33.7 percent from 3-point range (third in the league). They have a deep bench. Chet is a unicorn. Shai is an MVP-caliber talent. Josh Giddy is an excellent secondary ball handler/playmaker. Isaiah Joe and Cason Wallace are reliable shot makers. We cannot overlook Jaylen Williams and Lu Dort's gritty talents.
They might not lead the league in shooting efficiency but they have the creators and complementary scorers to finish the year near the top. All in all, the sky's the limit for the Thunder.