|Posted by shawn cassidy on September 18, 2011 at 10:50 PM|
- The Thunder finished 55-27,and 4th in the Western Conference.
Are the Thunder ready for the NBA finals. They made giant leaps from the 2010 playoff season. The Thunder lost to the NBA champs in the Western Conference finals. The Thunder seem to have all the right pieces to contend for years to come,but if you look close do they have everything they need to win right now. The Thunder are young,and the concern I have for this team is lack of veterans. Do they need veterans I'm unsure,but I think it will help. With four core guys under the age of 24,or 24 the Thunder have a bright future,but they need to keep them first.
Westbrook caused a few issues in the West finals,or maybe it was blown up by the media like so many other things. Westbrook is clearly a top ten point guard,and some nights a top five point guard. In the West finals Russell was shooting the ball more than he should have,and it was costly for the Thunder.I'm convinced by watching Westbrook that he's the type of guy that will continuously take bad shots and simply never quite understand what a point guard's role should be on a team with a player like Durant. Guys like Rondo,and Paul could flurish with a player of Durant's talent.
James Harden has proved he's a capable defender, and that means that he's ready to make the jump into the starting lineup. He must step into a starting role. I think they have a capable bench without Harden.Harden will be a top shooting guard for the next decade if he continues to work hard,and if he is put into the starting line-up. I think he can be like Manu for the Thunder. A guy in,and out of the starting line-up.
Ibaka,and Perkins will be a geart defensive duo in the paint. Next year OKC should get a healthier Perk. Perkins will be the force inside for the next four years. Ibaka has three years on his deal,and they can work on this big line-up for a while. Serge seems to be the better offensive player between Perk,and himself. Perk will need to score when needed just like he did in Boston.
I believe that Durant may already be the best player in the league. At least on offense.Considering that at the tender age of 22 he's unstoppable on offense and above average defensively. Durant is young,and he slowly has built a killer instinct. It's not at legendary status as Jordan,and Bird,but you can see it with Durant. Once Durant learns to make his teammates even better he will be an NBA champion. Durant will compete against Lebron for the title of best player in the NBA for years to come. Both players are different,but one thing they share in common is their quest for a ring. I think the Thunder are one more season away from making the Finals,but I also wouldn't be surprised if they make it in 2012.