It’s now hard to imagine back just 3 years ago when the Oklahoma City Thunder were the slumping franchise Seattle Supersonics still trying to regain the glory days of Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. After being at the bottom of the league for four years, this team made a miraculous turn-around last season more than doubling their win total from 23 to 50. Led by the consistent scoring of Kevin Durant, the athleticism of Russell Westbrook, and a supporting cast of young and hungry guys, the Thunder quickly became the talk-of-the-town and entered this season with exceedingly high expectations.
Aside from the emergence of Serge Ibaka in this year’s dunk contest, the highlight of the season had to have been the addition to veteran big man Kendrick Perkins. Perkins has been the a vital assistant to the “Big 4” over in Boston for the past few playoff runs and because the Thunder is still one of the youngest teams in the league, they wanted to add some veteran leadership to guide them through how to successfully paddle through the playoffs. Since the trade, OKC is 19-6 and locked up the 4th seed in the playoffs only two games back of the 2nd seed.
The Thunder are facing a tough matchup against the Nuggets in the playoffs, but still remain many experts’ darkhorse pick to make it out of the depth of the west. They may be young, but this is their chance to solidify their place in the NBA’s elite.