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Oklahoma City Maturing as the Season Rolls Along

The Northwest Division of the NBA is ruled by Oklahoma City. The Thunder has the NBA’s third best record overall behind just the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.

Oklahoma City is just two games behind the Spurs in second place in the Western Conference with an overall record of 47-17. Oklahoma City has won 8 of its last 10 games overall and are second in the league in scoring offense behind just the Houston Rockets.

Most of the Thunder players this season played under their head coach last season when the team played and lost in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. With their strong play again this season and an overall improvement in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder will prove tough to beat when the playoffs roll around in late April.

What should be scary to some opponents is many NBA scouts do not believe the Thunder has reached its full potential. Both Durant and Westbrook have shown they can win, they can play day in and day out and they can even improve if seems is possible.

Some have made comparisons to the Chicago Bulls during Michael Jordan’s prime. The Bulls were a great team but could not overcome the tenacious defense of the Detroit Piston until the Bulls matured. There is similarity there as the Miami Heat were able to take the Thunder players to school during their lopsided NBA finals win last June.

However, for the Thunder to defeat the Heat, if they meet in the NBA finals again, will be no easy feat. LeBron James is just 28, Dwayne Wade 31 and Chris Bosh 29, all three in their prime.

However, the Thunder has Durant and Westbrook who are both just 24 and Serge Ibaka who is even younger at 23. Durant has proven to be one of the best scorers in all of the NBA and is leading the league in scoring again this season.

Durant is much more mature at his age now than James was at 24 and he still has another 3 to 6 years before he reaches his prime playing years.

Westbrook is knocked for his decision making at times but he is younger than Ty Lawson and Stephen Curry at just 24. Another one or two years and Westbrook will not only learn how great his fellow teammates are, but how good he is as well.

Serge Ibaka is one of the best defensive forwards in the NBA and his shooting has improved greatly over the past season. Look for him to get even stronger as he is just 23.

If Oklahoma City fails to make the finals or even win the finals this season, many will be questioning what the team needs to make that final push to win a championship. For those that really know the game, the simple fact is the Thunder needs time, time to mature and nothing else.

When the maturity and chemistry all come together, every other team in the NBA will pale in comparison to this lineup.

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