Thunder on the Horizon

Westbrook - LakersThe forecast in Oklahoma City calls for clear skies and sun all week, but Kevin Durant and Co. are hoping for some thunder and lightning – at least inside the Ford Center.

The Thunder have opened their season with two wins in three games, beating the Kings and Pistons before falling to the Trail Blazers, led by 22 points a game from Durant heading into Tuesday’s showdown with the Lakers.

We spent several minutes getting the inside perspective on OKC with their radio play-by-play man Matt Pinto last week (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN) and have added a few numbers breaking down the former SuperSonics:

4 Thunder players to bypass college. Three are international players (Serbia’s Nenad Krstic, Switzerland’s Thabo Sefolosha and Congo’s Serge Ibaka), while Shaun Livingston came out of Peoria Central HS in Illinois.
Note: The Lakers have five players with no college experience: Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum (high school); Pau Gasol (Spain), Sasha Vujacic (Slovenia) and D.J. Mbenga (Belgium).

5 NBA players to score at least 20 points a game in their second NBA season: Kevin Durant (25.3, 2008-09); LeBron James (27.2, 2004-05); Vince Carter (29.3, 1993-94); Shaquille O’Neal (29.3, 1993-94); David Robinson (25.6, 1990-91).

5 Rookies averaging at least 15 points, four rebounds and four assists since 2000-01: OKC’s Russell Westbrook (2008-09), Brandon Roy (2006-07), Chris Paul (2005-06), LeBron James (2003-04) and Dwyane Wade (2003-04).

11 Technical fouls whistled on the Thunder last season, the fewest in the NBA. This season, they’ve yet to receive a tech.

12 Thunder rank in rebounding through three games, though the Lakers are tied for seventh (Portland).

14.3 Shooting percentage by Kevin Durant in a horrid third game of the season (83-74 loss to Portland), in which he made only 3-of-21 field goals. Durant, a career 45 percent shooter, said he had never, ever shot that poorly in a game.

19 Games out of their 23 wins last season in which the Thunder outrebounded their opponent.

25 years, 130 days The average age of the Thunder, making them the 2nd youngest team in the NBA (Golden State). OKC’s starters are even younger (23 years, 179 days), while the league average is 26 years and 329 days. San Antonio is the league’s oldest team with an average of 29 years and 73 days.

27 Thunder rank in steals, nearly as far away as you can get from the league-leading Lakers.

28 Thunder rank in scoring through three games. The Lakers are 16th.

90 Through three games, the Thunder are the only team in the NBA yet to allow 90 points. While the Lakers scored just 80 points in their lone loss to Dallas, they put up 99 against the Clippers and 118 versus Atlanta.