Oklahoma City Thunder Send Message That They're Still Title Contenders

By Kareem Gantt
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Mark D. Smith- USA Today Sports

Throughout this first-round series, we were wondering when the real Oklahoma City Thunder would show up. When would the real Thunder show up and deliver the knockout blow to the Memphis Grizzlies? When would the real Kevin Durant show up and finally be the silky smooth, dominant player that we all know and love?

Admit it: you were asking these questions at one point in time during their series against the Grizzlies. These were legitimate questions to ask because it seems like we were watching the Thunder’s evil cousins on the court. That team uncharacteristically turns the ball over and plays matador defense. We all got the feeling that we were watching that team, not the Thunder team that everybody, including me, believes can contend for the championship this season.

Well, I am happy to write that the real Thunder, not the evil cousins, are the ones that will be moving on to the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs to face either the Golden State Warriors or Los Angeles Clippers. The real OKC plays stiff defense and takes care of the ball. The real OKC plays with intensity, heart and an offense that can explode like a volcano at any time of the game.

The Thunder sent a stern notice to the rest of the Western Conference that this team is still a great bet to reach the NBA Finals. As long as Durant and Russell Westbrook are at the top of their games, the Thunder will be a tough matchup for whoever dares go against them.

The Thunder are moving on, and hopefully, OKC can continue to be the real OKC throughout the rest of the playoffs.

Kareem Gantt is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. For more from this author, you can ‘follow’ him on Twitter, ‘like’ him on Facebook and ‘add’ him on Google

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