Oklahoma City Thunder Hopefully Learned From Last Season

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder finally achieved one of their goals for this NBA season on Monday, clinching the top seed in the Western Conference for the playoffs. The Thunder have positioned themselves to make their second straight appearance in the NBA Finals now if they can just hang on to homecourt. There are a lot of things that Oklahoma City must do, however, before getting back to that point.

The Thunder have to find a way to put together a defensive effort at that point to actually win more than just one game in the Finals. Oklahoma City looked outmatched last season by the Miami Heat, and they can only hope that they are better this time around if given a second chance. Kevin Durant did his job again this season, averaging over 28 points a game while Russell Westbrook is averaging 23 points per game. The major issue comes if those two don’t score and the Thunder are giving up points in bunches.

That can happen even with a top-10 defense like the Thunder have this season. I’m not sure if getting rid of James Harden in the offseason was the best idea out there, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing the team down right now. This postseason is going to be all about Durant and what he can do to bring home a title. I would assume that the Heat would be waiting again in the way of the Thunder, but maybe another year of experience will give Oklahoma City a better chance this time around.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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