FILE - In this April 28, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan speaks to reporters in Oklahoma City. With his baseball program mired in its worst slump in five years, Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan wanted a different voice to talk to his players. Thumbing through his phone, one name stood out: Former Gators basketball coach Billy Donovan.(Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP, File)

Billy Donovan Enters Fourth Season with the Oklahoma City Thunder

Billy Donovan is entering his fourth season with the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in the 73rd season of the NBA.

After a 19-year run with the Florida Gators, Donovan was hired by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015.

In Donovan’s first season, the Thunder went 55-27, finished 3rd in the Western conference. The team made it to the West Conference Finals where they lost to the Golden State Warriors. In his second season, the Thunder went 47-35. They finished 4th in the Western Conference and made it to the first round of the playoffS. In his third season, the Thunder went 48-34 in regular season. They finished fourth in the Western Conference and made it to the first round of the playoffs.

In contrast, in the 2018-2019 season the Thunder is predicted to be one of the more dangerous teams come playoff time.

Thunder Rolls

Entering the 2018 season, the Thunder is ranked No. 7 in NBA power rankings. After their 3-game pre season schedule, the team had a chance to look back at their goals and performance in the preseason.

https://twitter.com/okcthunder/status/1051543494261727233

“For two– two and a half weeks you’re not going to get like everything in that you get in by game 50,” said Donovan, “The core base of who we want to be and where we want to be and how we want to play is in.”

The injury situation with the Thunder has Donovan is working on moving players to different positions. Therefore, Donovan hasn’t committed to a starting lineup.

Thunder Takes on the Warriors in Season Opener

Before the start of tonight’s game, the Warriors will receive with their championship rings. Add that to the history of the two teams, and it will equal an entertaining matchup.

May 16, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) battles for the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the third quarter in game one of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

 

Thunder’s top-10 defense from last season will face a challenge up against the Warriors. A team that will certainly pose a challenge with a strong all-star-type lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

“It’s a great challenge for us going against the best team in the league, based on what they’ve done,” said Donovan, “And you get a chance to find out a lot more about yourself going into an environment and into a situation where you’re going against such an elite team.”

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