Oklahoma City Thunder: The Dark Horse of the Year
Total Pro Sports – Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic. If you are not a huge fan of the NBA, the only name that you may have possibly heard of is Kevin Durant. Yet this team has great potential this year; possibly could have playoff potential. Those 5 players make up the projected starting lineup for the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is my team to watch this season. The player that is considered the veteran in this lineup is Kristic, who is in his 6th year of the NBA. Westbrook is coming into his 2nd year, Harden is a rookie, and Durant and Green are heading into their 3rd year. So you are now probably asking, how could he pick a team to be so good with such little experience? I’ll tell you why.
All of these players are already great at their positions in the NBA. Although Harden has not played a single NBA game yet, but he was the third overall pick in the past NBA draft, which has to mean something. Durant is already considered one of the top 10 scorers in the NBA, and I might even put him in the top 5. Westbrook is a great point guard, and can only get better. He played with Durant and Green last year, so he already knows their style of play. Jeff Green is the kind of guy every NBA team wants; he is hard-working and a hustler, he gets the rebounds, blocks the shots, and is all over the floor doing whatever it takes to win for his team. Although Kristic isn’t considered one of the best centers, he is definitely solid. He has a decent post-up game, and he doesn’t like to step away from the basket much. On this team, he really won’t need to as much because of all the shooters, which can only help his game.
The only thing that worries me is this team’s bench. Behind the starting 5, there is not that much talent at all, which won’t help. This starting rotation is one of the best in the NBA thanks to Durant, and hopefully the backups work very hard in practice so the starters can benefit and hold leads while they are on the bench. This team plays in the Western Conference – the much more difficult conference – which doesn’t help as well. Although I’d really like to say it, I don’t think the Thunder will make the playoffs. They definitely will win more than the 23 games they won last year. Pay attention to this team this year and in years to come, because if they build a bench correctly, you will be seeing some playoff games in the near future in Oklahoma City.