All I can say is wow — what a finish. Fans were finally lucky enough to see a close, competitive game that went down to the wire in Oklahoma City, but unfortunately for the MVP Kevin Durant, his team’s season is over despite a triple-double performance in front of his home crowd.
But losing this series and failing to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in three years shouldn’t be the biggest of the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s worries. Yes, it was a heartbreaking loss, but if the Thunder want to be able to finally get back the the NBA Finals next season, several changes need to be made.
The areas of improvement are endless, but to make it very clear, Westbrook should be one of their smallest concerns. Oklahoma City’s supporting cast could have practically been categorized as spectators for this series. Just look at the most important game of the season for them. In a Western Conference Finals elimination game for the Thunder, their bench contributed only five points by way of Derek Fisher, who won’t be there to step up as the rest of the role players continue to gaze in amazement at Durant and Westbrook.
Also, Kendrick Perkins has become nearly useless, and if the Thunder want to take that next step and make it back to the Finals, they need a major upgrade at center, whether it’s playing Steven Adams for the entirety of next season and letting him develop, or simply signing an improved center altogether.
And finally, Durant needs to take some notes from Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and become the aggressor offensively. It was bad enough he was taking a back seat to Westbrook, considering he is the league’s MVP and the best scorer on the planet, but when Durant started standing and just looking on as Reggie Jackson and even Caron Butler went on shooting sprees, it became a serious problem.
This is only the tip of the iceberg on the Thunder’s offseason to-do list, but if they want to become serious title contenders, changes have to happen now.