The Oklahoma City Thunder seem to be somewhat forgotten as the 2013-2014 NBA season and the start of training camp are approaching. After being knocked out of the playoffs in the second round last season and with their relative lack of action this off-season, many people seem to have placed the thunder on the backburner.
However, one group that hasn’t forgotten about the Thunder is the oddsmakers that have released the futures odds for the upcoming season. According to Sportsbook.com, the Thunder are the favorites to win the Western Conference, coming in at 5/2 odds. Meanwhile, the Thunder also have the second best odds of any team in the league to win the championship at 7/1 odds, behind only the Miami Heat.
In all honesty, the bookmakers have it right. The Thunder undoubtedly should be favored to come out of the West. Sure, they lost Kevin Martin, didn’t make any real move to replace Martin this summer, and still have Kendrick Perkins playing meaningful minutes for them on a regular basis, but the heart and soul of their team and their recent success is still in-tact.
Of course, heart and soul are the lesser used nicknames of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant and Westbrook have established themselves as one of the league’s most exciting duos of players and both players still have yet to enter their prime. Even with Durant joining the 50/40/90 club last season, there’s reason to believe both players are still going to get even better.
With Durant and Westbrook together and growing and the potential growth of Serge Ibaka as well, it’s hard to discount the thunder and say they aren’t the favorites in the West. They obviously have some questions coming into this season, but their strengths are big enough to justify the oddsmakers placing them where they did.
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