What is Keeping the Oklahoma City Thunder From an NBA Championship?

By Mike Atkinson
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder was considered the one team capable of dethroning the Miami Heat not too long ago.

Now, the team continues to win, but appears as though there is something missing. The Thunder have yet to finish a season with a championship (Sonics excluded), and I can’t help but feel like it has become stagnant in its growth as a team.

The Thunder built up by drafting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. These two players have developed into stars. Regardless of where you stand on the Westbrook/Durant shot attempts debate, it is a fact that there is something keeping the Thunder from a title.

As far as big men are concerned, the Thunder have a solid center in Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka is also very talented at power forward. Also, with Kevin Martin recently added, the Thunder are doing alright down low.

Moving down the roster, the Thunder are in great shape at small forward with the three time NBA scoring champion locking up that spot. Prior to the James Harden trade with the Houston Rockets, the Thunder had a shooting guard who could come off of the bench and play the two spot successfully. Now, it has lost that depth and is not as talented at two as it once was.

At point guard, the Thunder has Russell Westbrook. Now, deal with me here for a second. I proposed yesterday that Westbrook would be more suited to be a shooting guard than a point guard based on his selfishness with the ball at times, and his inability to distribute the ball as a floor general.

So here’s an easy fix. Move Westbrook to the two guard, and place newly signed Derek Fisher to point. Then a savvy veteran could run the floor and distribute the ball to Durant and Westbrook.

What the OKC Thunder is missing is a talented point guard who is capable of effectively dishing the ball to open shooters and simply getting the ball to Kevin Durant. Westbrook would be great at shooting guard. If he played the two spot, all the Thunder would need is a pass-first point guard. Fisher could fill that hole until a long-term replacement could be found.

Once the Thunder can get a distributor at point guard, it will be a dangerous team.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS.

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