Andrew Gilman

A Thunder thought and a Sooner situation on a Sunday

A Thunder thought and a Sooner situation on a Sunday

There’s just so much unknown with the Thunder heading into the season.

Is Billy Donovan going to coach differently? Is he going to play three point guards at the same time? Who’s on the way out and who is Sam Presti looking at bringing in?

More importantly, the league is probably going to be looking at the Thunder differently for the first time in a decade by saying, “Who cares?” After all, Oklahoma City is likely going to be irrelevant.

But with Chris Paul in town, at least for now, Steven Adams becomes something that shouldn’t be questioned on this team.

With all of the changes, all of the turmoil and two future Hall-of-Famers out the door, Adams doesn’t have to be happy with the prospect of being part of a team that won’t win a championship, but he certainly has to be happy with the certain uptick he’s about to have.

Desmond Mason, Tyson Chandler and most notably DeAndre Jordan are perfect examples of what Paul can do for a career. Jordan and Paul were a pretty good duo with the Clippers making them relevant and Chandler and Paul got to the playoffs. Even Mason said Paul was one of the best passers who he’s ever played with.

The point is, Russell Westbrook would pass. Check the stats. That’s proven, but Chris Paul wants to pass. Both of the point guards want the ball in their hands, but Paul isn’t passing because it’s a last-option. Paul resurrected Jordan and Chandler. He can do the same for Adams, too.

And after a season where Adams would often be a focal point early, but forgotten about later in games, Paul being on the roster has to be considered a welcome addition.

It’s a good thing Texas was able to finish off West Virginia Saturday.

Good thing for Oklahoma, that is. As it looks today, Texas might be, probably will be, the only ranked team the Sooners face this season. Oklahoma State lost at Texas Tech which will no surely keep the Cowboys from being ranked.

Perhaps Iowa State could be ranked at some point. Baylor? Maybe. Either way, yikes.

Oklahoma didn’t look great against Kansas in the 45-20 win Saturday, but the Sooners did stay unbeaten.

Now, an undefeated Oklahoma team has a lot of staying power when it comes to picking the best four for the playoff, but is it a sure thing an undefeated Oklahoma team makes the playoff over a one-loss SEC team?

Any of the following – Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Auburn and LSU could easily finish up with one loss. All would have much stronger cases to make the playoff than an OU team that is playing in what appears to be a conference that’s better, but not great.

Pretty sure everyone can agree, at least one SEC team is getting in, as is whoever comes out of the Big 10, either Ohio State or Wisconsin. No one would dare consider Minnesota at this point.

So, if that’s the case, it could be an undefeated Clemson and Oklahoma team to compare for the final spot. Clemson’s got a win against A&M. That’s about it.  An undefeated Oklahoma will have a win against Texas. That’s about it.

Remember, conference championship games are nice, but the committee may or may not evaluate them when choosing its top four.

And the point here is, Oklahoma is no sure thing to make the playoffs. No one’s talking about a UCF situation where OU is an outsider looking in, but it’s a very real possibility the Sooners may need some help.

That starts with Texas. The Longhorns better not lose.

 

 

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