Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
These days their two teams in the Western Conference that are legitimate title contenders and will be title contenders for at least the next five years or so in the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and the upcoming Denver Nuggets.
It would be hard to argue that any team in the conference is better than the Lakers or Nuggets, but there are few teams that might yield give them a run for their money this season like the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz and surprisingly enough the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Obviously the Los Angeles Lakers are the team to beat in the Western Conference right now and the Denver Nuggets aren’t far behind, but the Oklahoma City thunder a surprising people with every passing week and every passing game as they have played brilliantly and looked more like a motivated college program like the Duke Blue Devils instead of this million-dollar athletes looking to get paid.
It seems like everybody’s waiting for this team to fail as they have done so well in years past, but MVP candidate Kevin Durant is looking more and more like one of the best players in the league as he is now averaging almost 3 points again and is just behind LeBron James in the race for the NBA scoring title this season.
Most people believe, from the outside looking in, but the Oklahoma City Thunder is just Kevin Durant lighting up the scoreboards on a nightly basis, but that is far from the truth as the Thunder have arguably one most talented young teams in the league today with players like forward Jeff Green in point guard Russell Westbrook helping Durant turned the Thunder into legitimate playoff team.
As of right now the Oklahoma City Thunder by the fifth seed in the Western Conference that is saying something to become a competition they have the plague night in and night out in arguably the most competitive of the two conferences in the NBA.
Even though the Oklahoma City Thunder seem destined for the playoffs this season as they sit in the five spot in the West, they will have their work cut out for them to finish out the season the same spot as the competition is getting tougher with teams fighting for higher seeds heading into the playoffs.
The Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns are behind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference standings right now and will be doing all they can in order to get higher seed before the regular season ends which means Kevin Durant and company will have a target on their back to finish out the second half of the NBA regular season.
Despite all the pressure of being a young playoff team, I believe the Oklahoma City Thunder will really surprise some teams in the playoffs this season and if they keep playing with the kind of fire they have been playing with I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that they could end of playing a team like the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals.
Obviously right now that is quite a stretch, but you never know as anything can happen with a player like Kevin Durant leading the way!