The Oklahoma City Thunder has been a playoff fixture for quite some time now. With Kevin Durant moving to the Bay Area and Russell Westbrook taking center stage, it would be interesting to see how far they go now.
The significant losses in the production of Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka will certainly be felt this upcoming season by the Thunder. If there is any consolation in losing two of their big stars it would be the possible emergence of young talent that they acquired.
Notable acquisitions for the Thunder are former 2nd pick overall, Victor Oladipo and budding French big man, Joffrey Lauvergne. Oladipo’s Global games and preseason performances indicate that the talented guard may be ready for the next step in his career, from being buried in the second unit in Orlando.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has a trio of talented big men in Adams, Kanter, and Lauvergne. The burly Frenchman, Lauvergne has proven to be efficient in small doses for the Nuggets. Given the right opportunity, expect Lauvergne to slot in starters minutes as the season goes by.
Kanter will continue to anchor the offense for the second unit, along with new addition Ersan Ilyasova to provide spacing for the team.
The playoff fate of this team rests on one man’s shoulders, Russell Westbrook. There is no doubt about what Westbrook can do on the court. He is one of those generational transcendent talents.
It is just a matter of what kind of Westbrook will fans see this season. Will it be the Westbrook with Durant production or the MVP prove everybody wrong Westbrook that people are going to expect for this season.
Westbrook aside, if the basketball gods are kind to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a clean bill of health for the season and Oladipo develops into a fringe All-star, fans can see them getting seeded this season.
With playoff teams in the West getting deeper, it would be a surprise seeing them past the second round. But one thing is for sure, it will be an interesting season for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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