Western Conference Champions: OKC Thunder
In 2007, the Oklahoma City Thunder (actually the Seattle Supersonics) had the second overall pick in the draft. The fortunate thing for the Thunder was that the Portland Trailblazers selected Greg Oden first overall which left the Thunder with the current three time scoring champ in Kevin Durant. The next year the Thunder selected Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. The following year they would select James Harden with the third overall pick. All credit is due to a GM in Sam Presti that hit on these four players in three drafts in a row. It takes a great coach to led these young men to the Finals because these young players lack experience. Coach Scott Brooks has done a great job identifying that his explosive PG Russell Westbrook is at his best when he is attacking. Some of the underrated moves that the Thunder have made like picking up Derek Fisher and trading for Kendrick Perkins have really added that championship experience that the younger do not have.
What is so amazing about the playoff run the Thunder is on currently is that they have beaten the three teams that have won the Western Conference the past thirteen years. First that had to get by the Defending Champs the Dallas Mavericks. While it was technically a sweep, the first two games could have went either way. The next series featured the Thunder taking on the Lakers. The young Thunder took care of business in five games and once again found themselves in the Western Conference Finals for the second year in a row. After getting hammered in the first two games versus the Spurs, the Thunder figured out their defensive assignments by placing Sefolosha on Tony Parker which slowed down the Spurs high powered offense. This is what championship teams do. They make adjustments and get the job done. This is a scary bunch that is clicking on all cylinders right now. Whether they face the Heat or Celtics, they will be the favored. It only makes you wonder how good this team will be for years especially if their core stays together long term.
What is your opinion of the Oklahoma City Thunder?