|Will we see a rematch of the 2012 NBA Finals in next year's NBA Finals? (mancavesports.org)|
BDD's Friday Roundtable is a weekly discussion among a group of our writers on a trending NBA or college basketball topic.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are in a good place right now. Kevin Durant and a rehabbed Russell Westbrook will still be the team's principle players, with Serge Ibaka keying the defensive side of things, but OKC is also in a position where it can draft for depth, not immediate need. Recent mock drafts have the Thunder selecting a point guard and a center in next week's draft, both of which are weak positions when the bench is considered. After another season spent maturing and producing at a top rate, the Thunder will make a run past other Western Conference contenders. As for the Eastern representatives? Well, LeBron James doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon...
As long as LeBron James is in the league, he will be a threat for a repeat championship. However, I think his supporting cast with the aging Dwayne Wade and inconsistent Chris Bosh is not enough to provide him with the help any great player needs to get a ring. The Pacers are an intriguing pick with the emergence of Paul George as a star wing-player and the presence of Roy Hibbert in the post, but Indiana is probably still a year or two away from claiming a championship trophy. While he’s still a terrific player, I don’t think Kobe Bryant has the supporting cast to make another run.
The team that is and has been so close to breaking through is the Oklahoma City Thunder, and next year I believe it will do it. Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the NBA, and has the ability to take over a game and carry a team when the rest of its players are struggling. He creates mismatch problems for every team with the combination of his height, athleticism, and his ability to either put the ball on the floor or shoot the three. Russell Westbrook is one of the more dynamic point guards in the NBA and still hasn’t reached his full potential. The Thunder also have a tough duo in the low post with Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, who provide an aggressive, nasty defensive attitude on the block. The keys for the Thunder to break through are the continued development of both Ibaka and Westbrook, and also the shot selection and decision making of Oklahoma City’s point guard. While he is a great talent, Westbrook sometimes forces the issue and takes wild and poor shots. If those two things come together, Oklahoma City will claim their first title.
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