Chris Paul missed Monday night’s game versus the Dallas Mavericks as he was trying to get over the shock of losing close friend Kobe Bryant. They were close and in reality the league should have canceled all games on Monday following the tragedy on Sunday in Los Angeles.
In case you doubt the value of Chris Paul to the Thunder this season Wednesday night was a primer on why the Thunder with a healthy Chris Paul are a good basketball team as they rolled the Kings by a 120-100 margin.
With Chris Paul on the floor the ball moves, it flows, and it ends up in spots on the floor where the right player has a shot in their particular wheelhouse spot.
On the night the Thunder had a giddy 32 assists to but 13 turnovers as the Thunder look like a playoff lock if Sam Presti decides to keep the team in place beyond the trade deadline of February 6th.
Lu Dort started for the seventh straight game and the Thunder are now 6-1 in those games with six straight road wins which ties a club record set back in 2013.
For me…I’ve seen enough to write this Thunder team could be a competitive first round team if they can avoid playing the Lakers in the first round. Against any other team in the West—I think this team could conceivably be very competitive.
What Sam Presti has to decide is if a contending team is willing to part with a promising younger player, not a draft pick, to make his team still solid around Chris Paul. I wouldn’t trade Gallo otherwise. If Gallo walks in free agency… then he walks. Kevin Martin walked after the 2013 second round exit versus Memphis, yet the Thunder were back in the Western Conference Championship the next season.
If Sam Presti genuinely believes in rookie Darius Bazely down the road then roll the dice and see what happens. You have to have a set of balls to be the GM in Oklahoma City. It’s not like OKC ever going to be a destination for free agents on the whole because their isn’t any opera and there’s the David Duke-like state legislature.
The Thunder are now 29-20 overall, 14-10 on the road, and close the pre-All-Star Game break on Friday night in Phoenix.