Right now the Oklahoma City Thunder are just behind the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the Western Conference. They are led by Kevin Durant who is tied with Kobe Bryant for first place in the league in scoring with 27.9 points per game, Durant can get it done from all over the court. He has halfcourt range on his jumpers, has the control to take it inside, is too big for small players and too quick for big defenders to stop him, and in short is a matchup nightmare for anyone.
Kevin Durant is named Durantula, as its an extension of his name and he has long, lanky limbs and he’s as deadly as a Tarantula.
Pull up Wikipedia:
“Despite their often threatening appearance and reputation, no tarantula has been known to have a bite that is deadly to humans.”
Now that’s a zinger to toss at OKC fans when they get all “Durantula Hoo Hah” on your team!
If you wake from that 6”9 of a nightmare, happy that it was just a nightmare, this other guy is just as bad(good). Russel Westbrook is another nightmare for defenses. He’s one of the most athletic players in the league and can get to the rim at will. Once there his vertical can elevate him above all comers. He also has a bit of an outside touch which sometimes becomes fool’s gold. Because he’s been known to chuck up ill-advised shots.
That has been a source of endless debate and contention, providing ample fodder to the talking heads. Durant and Westbrook are painted as a bickering couple, each of whom seems to know what’s best for the other. From the outside, Kevin Durant seems to be in the right. Mainly because Westbrook is supposed to be the playmaker, the Robin to the Batman. But maybe its because of the attention that Russel commands that Durant gets some of his good looks on the floor.
If you look back on Stockton and Malone, both of them are seen as interdependent on each other and neither is remembered as being an inferior sidekick. Even though Stockton fed Malone all the time. The consensus is that Westbrook needs to stop letting his natural talent get in the way of the advantage he has in his absurdly talented teammate and defer more to Durant.
Rounding up the big two into the big three, the Thunder have James Harden and his beard. He recently had a 40 point game vs the Suns in a 109-97 win. The Thunder routinely get 60 points from the trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook. You have to pick your poison against this team. Any of the three can create problems on any given day and all their games are diverse enough to keep you on your toes. Durant can score in any way, inside or outside, Westbrook can blow by anyone and Harden gets his own in a patient workmanlike manner.
As good as the Thunder are on the perimeter, they are pretty intimidating on the inside, at least on defense. Serge Ibaka leads the league in blocks per game with 3.69 per. Also, Kendrick Perkins is one of the best interior defenders in the league and brings a lot of toughness inside for this team.
There have been some comedic developments in the west.
You are the Lakers and you got swept in the postseason. What do you do to win next year?
1. Trade away your starting point guard to your bitter rival in the conference. Derek Fisher to the Thunder.
2. Trade away sixth man of the year, Lamar Odom to your bitter rival, Dallas Mavericks.
Well, the Mavericks have released Lamar Odom following subpar performances and Derek Fisher is old. So maybe the Lakers knew what they were doing. Or maybe not.
Derek Fisher can have a major impact on the young Thunder team and exercise some much needed calming influence on the hot headed point guard Russel Westbrook. The OKC Thunder missed out on the Finals last time around by a whisker. This time they are among the top picks for the trophy. Look for them to make it to the Conference Finals at the very least.