The Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the NBA‘s best teams. They know it and so does everybody else. As such, it’s easy for any good team, especially young one like the Thunder, to somewhat lose focus during the course of a long NBA season. Heck, 82 games can put anybody to sleep (hint, hint, David Stern). So it’s important for Oklahoma City to keep its eye on the prize at all times because if the Thunder goes into a funk heading into the playoffs, it could easily get upset by a lower-seeded team.
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is slowly growing up, but he’s so streaky that he’ll never be a No. 1 option. He can be so utterly dominant at times, but he can just as easily be a major liability on the floor during others. Therefore, the Thunder needs to accept it and adjust to it so that the playoffs won’t be like a brand new experience every year.
Sure, the Thunder made it to the NBA Finals last year, but Westbrook’s immaturity gave Oklahoma City a ton of bumps along the way. If the team just sleepwalks its way to another high seed in the Western Conference playoffs, the same thing will happen this year and then folks will start to question whether or not Westbrook is the right fit for the team.
The Thunder needs to be making an effort every single day to create a more solid identity so that it can not only compete in the playoffs, but steamroll its opponents and eventually beat a super-talented team like the Miami Heat. That’s not as easy as it sounds, but Thunder will always be “next year’s champ” if something doesn’t change now.