4 Reasons OKC Is Ready for Another Shot at the NBA Finals

This is a guest article by Anthony Alexander. Anthony is a freelance writer, journalist, author, and an organizer of words and thoughts. He is a diverse writer who captures moments and converts them into literary works. He is passionate about sports, traveling, and life.

If you’re a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, you’ve probably been on the edge of your seat lately because the team is on fire. The team made it to the NBA finals in the 2012 season and it looks like they’re headed there again—they’re holding a steady second behind the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference. Why is this young team so strong? Here are four top reasons why this team could bring the championship title home this year.

1. The Team Has Made Excellent Draft Choices

kevin-durant-300

The coaching staff for the Thunder have made some pretty smart draft choices. In 2008, they obtained Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, the 2009 draft brought in James Harden and who can forget the joy of the 2007 draft when Kevin Durant joined the team?

These players under the excellent coaching skills of Scott Brooks continues to surprise and camaraderie in the locker room may be at an all-time high. Many say the rumors of Westbrook and Durant not liking each other is just that—a rumor and it’s showing on the court.

Image via Flickr Keith Allison

2. They’ve Got Strong “Young” Veterans

russell-westbrook-300Some veterans like Kobe Bryant (Lakers) are getting up there in age. At 34, Bryant may have hit his peak. The Thunder team, however, even in their infancy after moving from Seattle in 2008 have faced some tough playoff challenges.

With Durant and Westbrook at 24 and Ibaka just 23 if you tie in the heavy division games they’ve been in, they don’t look like the young or the growing—they are what sportscasters are calling the “young veterans.”

Image via Flickr Keith Allison

 

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3. The Team Is Now in Oklahoma City

okc-thunder-fans-300It’s no secret how fans feel about their sport teams in Oklahoma City and a strong fan base really does encourage a team to perform well. Fans are showing their love for this team—even those who never watched NBA games before.

They’re cheering them on with a vengeance of “this is our year” and those lucky enough to get Oklahoma City Thunder Tickets say the energy from the court is spreading to the seated (or mostly standing and cheering) fans.

Image via Flickr peggydavis66

4. The Defense Plays Better In the Clutch

serge-ibaka-300Even NBA analyst and jokester Charles Barkley has said of the Thunder, “Russell Westbrook might be the key for this team to get a Championship. One thing that he has learned is making the players around him better,” and this includes their clutch defense.

Although the Thunder may rank somewhere in the middle on defense, they rock in the final five minutes of their games, especially when there’s a margin of five points or less. Knowing when to step it up on D takes teamwork.

Although the Oklahoma City Thunder has only been playing in the City since 2008, the smart draft choices, the veteran feel of their young players, fanatic fans and great defense are just four reasons why this NBA team will make the NBA finals this year—and possibly win it all.

Image via Flickr Keith Allison

 

Resources:

http://www.nba.com/thunder/

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1563355-okc-thunder-havent-peaked-yet

http://newsok.com/new-oklahoma-city-thunder-fans-show-team-love/article/3687370

 

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.

2 comments

  1. I think the Thunder will make a strong run deep into the playoffs this year, but without Harden I don’t see them in the Finals. They seem a bit slower and less dynamic than last year, and have lost the season series to a few teams lower than they are (Houston, Denver). They ARE beatable, and if Westbrook has a bad night they will need another player or two to step up and fill that 30-point gap. I’ve been watching OKC to keep an eye on where they end up in the standings!

  2. The Heat are amazing but I’m glad I don’t have to hear about this streak every time I turn on ESPN anymore; streak talk even got annoying for the Nuggets, and I’M a Nuggets fan! It should actually be a bit of relief for the Heat, not having to live under that ‘perfect’ microscope anymore, and they’ll have an opportunity to tighten up their game a few weeks before the playoffs start.

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