OKC’s Flaws Exposed: What This Means for the Future

(Photo via trinitynewsdaily.com)

While it has looked as if the OKC Thunder are clicking on the court this year, further analysis may prove otherwise. There have been recent concerns about the Thunder’s attention to detail, and yesterday’s embarrassing home loss to the Cavs just raised even more questions. But, some would say, “How can they possibly struggle? Don’t they have Westbrook and KD?!?” Well, yes, they sure do – but while it would seem certain that they can dominate night in and night out, sometimes they become humbled and exposed more so than any other NBA finals contender. KD has now lost 10 of his last 12 match-ups against Lebron James.

Oklahoma City is now 40-16 on the year and is essentially a lock for another postseason berth. Individually, their stars sure are shining bright. However, their team dynamic still needs more work. And as it has become more apparent each season, we know that no team can win a championship based on individual performance. They still lack continuity on the defensive side of the ball and that could become detrimental to their overall success in the postseason.

The Thunder have also occasionally struggled against quality NBA teams this year, which again does not bode well for their championship aspirations, especially when you consider the competition in the West that the Thunder would have to face come playoff time – the Warriors, Spurs, and Clippers being among the best. And even if they succeed in the West, they will most likely have to go up against Durant’s most recent kryptonite, King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  This could suggest that if this year does not lead them to the promise land, when will the KD-Westbrook duo ever work, if at all?

For the record, I am still a huge fan of both Westbrook and Durant and as a NBA junkie, I admire their superior performances on the hardwood. However, it is not bizarre for me to question whether the Thunder’s journey to bring NBA champions is running out of time. They have been chasing it since the 2012 NBA Finals – against none other than Lebron and the Heat Big 3 – and since then they have been hovering around the top of the West, but have never made it over the hump. Now, with Kevin Durant testing free agency at the end of the year, it seems to me that a Westbrook and Durant breakup is inevitable.

– J. Yellin

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