Stop The Worrying, OKC Is Still A Championship Team
By Addam Francisco
This off-season has been quite eventful for the NBA for free agency. Not so much for our Thunder and some fans are wondering about how this team will stack up against enhanced teams like San Antonio, Los Angeles and even the Suns. The reason for the lack-of off-season activity is simply because we don’t need too much.
The big hire of head coach Billy Donovan was our big move for the off-season. We are hoping that Donovan can perform where former coach Scott Brooks struggled to. Drafting Cameron Payne was second on our list this summer and we got that done, that provides great depth off the bench from the point guard position and possibly an alternate starting lineup that can throw teams off when need be. Re-signing Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler was the final thing that we needed to handle this summer. With Kanter in the middle offensively will give us a scoring threat from inside the paint, something we haven't had much of. Also with Singler, he provides great depth on the wing, that of which we needed.
Not to mention, Oklahoma City still features Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, two of the top six scorers in the league and two MVP-caliber players along with an all-star two way forward in Serge Ibaka. In my opinion, when you add all of those components together plus what we have on the bench, you get a championship caliber team.
Shooting guard Dion Waiters seems to think this team is a championship contender, per Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman.
*“We got to come in knowing what’s at stake and that’s a championship. We got the team. If you look at our team, we don’t have any missing links. We have everything that we need. And it’s up to us just to go out there, build that chemistry on and off the court and go out there and get it done. It’s not much else to talk about.”*
Even though the Thunder don’t have any obvious weaknesses, that also means there aren’t any excuses for failing to win a championship this year. The pressure is on, the restless Oklahoma City fans are at their finest this season. Injuries have ruined the teams championship dreams over the past few seasons, but once again, assuming everyone stays healthy, OKC has more than enough talent and depth to compete with any of the NBA’s “super teams”.
OKC’s starting five consists of the following:
PG- Russell Westbrook 28.1 ppg
SG- Andre Roberson 3.4 ppg
SF- Kevin Durant 25.4 ppg
PF-Serge Ibaka 14.3 ppg
C-Enes Kanter 15.5 ppg
That’s roughly 87 points per game just from the starting 5. Not to mention they have Dion Waiters, Anthony Morrow, Nick Collison, Steven Adams and Mitch McGary coming off of the bench, all of which are capable of putting up big numbers.
Lets be realistic, having DeAndre Jordan or LaMarcus Aldridge would be pointless for this team. We have a close-knit team and honestly don’t need any more personalities to mix things up. Plus, who would you propose sit on the bench if we had Jordan or Aldridge in the rotation? Serge? Enes? That wouldn't work, because we are paying them too much money to come off the bench. Moral of the story is, trust Sam Presti in what he’s doing, the Thunder are entering their eighth year in Oklahoma City under this management. That’s not even a decade, there are teams like the Warriors who had to wait 40 years to win a championship. Lets be grateful that we are this close to a championship this early.