It’s been a rocky start for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They’ve dropped two straight, and at just 8-11 for the season so far, they’re currently out of the playoff picture in the West.
This is particularly disconcerting given that they somehow managed to assemble a super-team of sorts during the off-season, stealing Carmelo Anthony out from under the Rockets’ noses and landing Paul George for a song from the Indiana Pacers.
The expectation going in, of course, was that this squad would be able to compete with the monolithic Warriors, and if there’s one thing ‘Melo knows all too well, it’s about failing to live up to these types of expectations. When a reporter asked a question about whether he’s ever been on a team that isn’t playing to its potential, he had a simple response.
“You been watching the past few seasons? There go your answer,” Anthony said. “I haven’t had the talent and defensive depth. But I’ve been in this situation enough times to known that these situations can start something. It can be a trickle-down effect, a domino effect, or you can use it as a launching pad to correct some things.”
‘Melo is correct in his assessment about the Knicks’ depth. They haven’t really had the talent the past few years to make any real noise, even in the East. The expectations come purely by virtue of being one of the league’s most high-profile franchises in one of the NBA’s biggest media markets.
But the expectations in OKC are very real, not necessarily that they can suddenly become a championship-caliber team, but that they can at least compete at a high level. Otherwise, Paul George can walk next summer and leave the Thunder once again searching for answers.