There have been many questions surrounding the Thunder lately, such as “can Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook coexist?” “Does the team play enough defense to win a championship?” “Can the team have consistent bench scoring?”
Well, all of those questions were answered tonight. Durant and Westbrook both lit up the scoreboard, taking control of the game as the duo is known to do. Caron Butler also contributed off the bench, something which Oklahoma City has been desperately missing since the James Harden trade.
Possibly the most challenging matchup for the Thunder, the Houston Rockets have been on an absolute tear since the new year began. Dwight Howard has proved that he could get back to being the Howard that we knew when he was with the Orlando Magic, so for Oklahoma City to grab this win tonight shows how much of a threat they are to take the NBA title this year.
The team has struggled as of late, but Westbrook and Durant unquestionably have what it takes to win this season.
The Thunder’s frontcourt proved that they can play well enough on defense even when facing the best center in the entire league. Therefore, when matching up against the San Antonio Spurs or Los Angeles Clippers in this year’s playoffs, the team is confident in knowing that they have what it takes. As long as Oklahoma City can consistently defend in the paint, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, in all likelihood, will be able to get it done.
Subsequent to tonight’s game, the Thunder should be the clear favorite to come out of the West.