What Does the Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup Look Like for the 2021-22 Season?

Published 09/15/2021, 9:39 PM EDT
Jan 24, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5), guard George Hill (3) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


The Oklahoma City Thunder lost their lightning bolts when they back-to-back allowed Kevin Durant (2016), Russell Westbrook (2018), Paul George (2019), and Chris Paul (2020) exit, in that order. With those names, went off the era when they played 10 playoffs in 11 seasons, losing the 2015 postseason even after winning 45 games.

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Today, OKC are a struggling lineup with many inexperienced additions to their roster. Everyone hoped for the incoming of an All-Star in the 2021 off-season, but all they received were a bunch of rookies or Derrick Favors at best. So is that their starters ignite some hope?

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Oklahoma City Thunder starting five:

Frontcourt

Aleksej Pokusevski (Small Forward)

In a very young lineup, Aleksej Pokusevski is a shining hope. The OKC drafted this 7-footer in 2020 and he has been a decent European pick. The man possesses an ability to improvise on catch-and-shoot, make plays using his vision, drive crucial blocks, and become a better scorer. He averaged 8.2 points in his rookie season and expectations will be higher for his upcoming year.

Darius Bazley (Power Forward)

Darius joined the Thunder as a rookie in 2019 and ever since has shown massive improvement. After allowing him to start in nine games as a rookie, the Thunder coaching staff showed greater faith in him the following year when he started each night he played. Averaging 13.7 ppg (+8 from first year), the versatile forward with great athleticism and a 7” wingspan proved his worth. If only he can get better at defense, the OKC can benefit a lot.

Isaiah Roby (Center)

Although two years old in the league (and OKC), Isaiah has experience of just 64 games under his belt. But the OKC are a team that totally lacks dependable and tested center player. So this will stay a position of experiment and chances are high that the names like Derrick Favors and Mike Muscala will get to start a few games too. 

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Backcourt

Jan 8, 2021; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander reacts after sinking a basket during a game against the Knicks, Friday, at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Seth Wenig/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Point Guard)

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In a team that has the youngest coach in the league, Shai is his top youthful weapon. A future All-Star contender, Shai is a phenomenal shooter and a very efficient scorer. Boasting the experience of playing for the Clippers and 13 postseason games on his resume, he is the team leader and the guiding light. 

Luguentz Dort (Shooting Guard)

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Lu the beast, is perhaps coach Mark Daigneault’s greatest offensive hope other than SGA. The 22-YO promises a long-range and aggressiveness with some defensive ability. He is certainly a big-man threat that can bulldoze over his defenders and draw fouls. If the OKC are to become a postseason team, this man must deliver.

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Do you think this WC team can become a playoff team anytime soon? Help us know in the comments section below.

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Sourabh Singh

1676 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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