Revisiting Those 22 Statements Made with Extreme Confidenceimage via Thunder

Revisiting Those 22 Statements Made with Extreme Confidence

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At the beginning of every season, the Daily Thunder staff teams up for a bunch of predictions made with extreme confidence. And at the end of every season, I get the honor of publicly razzing my fellow writers by scoring our early calls and laughing at our foolishness.

If you’d like more context to the predictions, the original article can be found here.

Now let’s get those red markers out.

1. Giddey will be the second-leading scorer on the team. (John Napier)

Our beloved publisher made the age-old mistake of doubting one Luguentz Dort. Josh Giddey’s 12.5 points per game came in third to SGA’s 24.5 and Dort’s 17.2. Unless you count Georgios Kalaitzakis’s 17.5 points in 4 games or Jaylen Hoard’s 14.7 points in 7 games, which I kind of want to, just to make John even more wrong. INCORRECT

2. Giddey will be a World Team starter in the NBA All-Star Rising Stars Game. (Olivia Panchal)

When Olivia made this prediction, she had no idea the NBA would change their Rising Stars format. The petty part of me wants to just call this one wrong for kicks and giggles because “World Team” doesn’t even exist. But Giddey did in fact start for Team Worthy and was the #5 overall pick in the Rising Stars draft. The heart of this prediction was spot on. CORRECT

3. Giddey will make NBA All Rookie First Team. (Brandon Rahbar)

As of this writing, the All Rookie Teams have not been announced. Giddey is in a three-man fight with Jalen Green and Franz Wagner for the final two spots. But because Josh was a lock before he was too good to tank hurt down the stretch, because he still has a solid shot of making the team, and because this was my prediction so I want the points, I’m calling this one early… CORRECT

4. Giddey will finish top three for Rookie of the Year. (Logan Meyer)

Kudos to Logan for predicting the best outcome for Giddey in a group predicting great outcomes. Before Giddey went out with injury, he was nipping on the heels of Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes and Cade Cunningham on the strength of the four youngest triple doubles in NBA history. It feels wrong to count such a bold prediction as wrong that would’ve possibly been accurate if not for injury. But even if Josh had stayed healthy, the smart money is he would’ve finished fourth. INCORRECT

5. Gilgeous-Alexander will be an All-Star. (Napier)

If votes for the All-Star Game were taken after the All-Star Break, John would’ve nailed this one. INCORRECT

6. SGA will join the 50-40-90 Club. (Meyer)

Based on last year’s elite 51/42/81 shooting splits from Shai, I can appreciate why Logan made this prediction. The bad news: SGA’s efficiency took a big dip in 2022 as he scored 24.5 points (career high) on 45.3/30.0/81.0 splits. The context: SGA experimented a new side-step, step-back three for the first half of the year while once again operating with the least amount of space and facing more double teams than almost anyone in the NBA. The good news: when SGA set aside that difficult step-back the last half of the season, he exploded with 30.4 points on 54.2/39.3/80.6 splits after the All-Star Break. INCORRECT

7. Dort will be traded at the deadline. (Spenser Davis)

First off, how dare you. Secondly, INCORRECT.

8. Dort will shoot over 38% from three. (Jayden Rule)

Lu didn’t reach these lofty heights, but he did have the NBA’s second longest 3-pointer-made-in-a-game streak going until the close of 2021. His 3-point percentage ultimately fell to 33.2% this season (on a bonkers 7.7 attempts per game) from 34.3% last season. But his overall efficiency still improved because his finishing at the rim and free throw numbers were remarkably better. INCORRECT

9. Dort makes the All-Defensive Second Team. (Napier)

This makes John 0-3 thus far. There’s a reason why he’s the DT Publisher and not the DT Predictor, amirite? INCORRECT

10. The Bazley experiment will come to an end. (Rule)

Halfway through the season, this prediction looked like money. Mark Daigneault benched Darius Bazley and the writing was on the wall. Then Bench Baze took out an eraser and scrubbed that wall clean the second half of the season. INCORRECT

11. Bazley will be better than expected. (Rahbar)

Remember how everyone thought the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie was going to be the absolute worst? The expectations were set so low that anything even remotely watchable would’ve been a pleasant surprise. But to everyone’s shock, it ended up being not only not bad, it was actually a lot of fun. CORRECT

12. Bazley will not show much and his team option for next year will not get picked up. (David Brandon)

Players gonna play, play, play, play, play. And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
Bazley just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off. INCORRECT

13. Kenrich Williams takes Bazley’s spot in the starting lineup. (Panchal)

Oh, Olivia, you sweet summer child. Kenny Hustle in the starting lineup would’ve won OKC way too many games. INCORRECT

14. Wiggins will prove to be a steal. (Rule)

Feels like Jayden should get two points for this one. Nobody else dared predict big things for the sixth-to-last pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. But just like Lu Dort and Moses Brown before him, Wiggins worked himself from two-way guy to real NBA contract mid-season. CORRECT

15. Mann will become OKC’s best bench combo guard. (Rahbar)

Sure, in hindsight Tre Mann besting Theo Maledon and Ty Jerome doesn’t seem brag-worthy. But Maledon was coming off a rookie season leading OKC in minutes and Jerome looked like he had the makings of a 3-point sniping core-keeper. If you thought I was high on Mann coming into this season, just wait until you hear my cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs 2022-2023 Tre take. CORRECT

16. This won’t be Poku’s breakout year. (Davis)

This prediction was money in the bank the first half of the season. This prediction caused the bank to charge an overdraft fee the second half of the season. Honestly, I’m not sure how to score this one. Aleksej Pokusevski’s year-end numbers were not even in the breakout ballpark. But at the very least, there was a palpable pint-sized Poku breakout in February, March and April. IN/CORRECT

17. Poku will not be appreciably improved and fans will get impatient. (Brandon)

First half of the season: “Poku is a bust!” Second half of the season: “Poku is a beast!” IN/CORRECT

18. Poku still will not tell us what’s in the fanny pack. (Rahbar)

Who shot JFK? Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Is Big Foot real? Yanny or Laurel? What’s in Poku’s fanny pack? Some of the world’s greatest mysteries will never be solved. CORRECT

19. Favors won’t be traded before the deadline. (Panchal)

Even if OKC can’t flip Derrick Favors for more positive assets, Chris Paul and Al Horford style, that Favors trade is coming up Presti given Utah’s current climate. If the Jazz end up pivoting from one or both of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, that first round pick protected 1-10 in 2024, 1-10 in 2025 and 1-8 in 2026 is looking better and better. CORRECT

20/21. The Thunder will be better than everyone thinks. (Meyer + Rule)

For the second straight season, the consensus was that the Thunder would be the worst team in the league. For the second straight season, the Rockets, Magic and Pistons were worse. For the second straight season, injuries and resting players are the only reasons OKC were able to climb into the #4 spot in the reverse standings instead of flirting with the play-in. CORRECT

22. OKC will have just two sellouts all year. (author unknown)

I have no idea which DT staffer wrote this one nor how many Paycom Center sellouts happened this year. But my hunch is John Napier and because there’s only a 1 in 41 chance he got it right, I’m giving this a big, red Family Feud style X. INCORRECT

FINAL SCORES

John Napier: 0 for 4*

Spenser Davis: .5 for 2

David Brandon: .5 for 2

Logan Meyer: 1 for 3

Jayden Rule: 2 for 4

Olivia Panchal: 2 for 3

Brandon Rahbar: 4 for 4**

*lol

**questionable judge’s scoring/weak sauce easy predictions