Beyond the Arc

by Ben Fiore

Since moving from Seattle as the Super Sonics, the Oklahoma City Thunder have lost two big name MVP’s in James Harden and Kevin Durant, but they still stay successful.  I believe a lot of that has to do with loyalty.  I get that Harden was traded, but KD CHOSE to leave to join a Warriors team that was (73-9, best all time NBA Record) and who beat his Thunder in the WCF after being down 3-1 in the series.  Russ Westbrook openly spoke about the disrespect that came with KD’s little cupcake actions of leaving the team.  Clearly that was a blow to the city, who believed he was one of two pillars of that franchise.  BUT THEY DON’T NEED THAT SHIT NOW BOIIIII.  Russ as the leader has been able to keep OKC relevant by keeping some true studs around.

Steven Adams is an undeniable force of tats, mustaches and talent.  He is a New Zealandish monster.  He is a key rebounder, a defensive beast and a put back king.  He was drafted out of Pitt to the Thunder and has been with the team for 7 years.  He along with key role players like Dennis Schroeder, Andre Roberson, Nerlens Noel and others, the Thunder are a LEGIT squad in the west.  They are plopping a squat at 3rd in the west with a (37-19) record, and are clearly on the come up, which brings me to my main point… The dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook and Paul George is the new and improved Russ and KD.

Russ just racked up his 10th straight triple double, which is the MOST IN NBA HISTORY.  He is on track to have another triple double average season.  He currently is heading into the All-Star break averaging 21.2 PPG, 11.1 RPG and 11.2 APG.  As of right now, he is doing it, and doing it well dog.  Russ is a tenacious athlete and has loudly proclaimed that he ain’t no lil bitch like KD and is committed to OKC.  I applaud dude for that.  Granted, he can be aggravating to watch sometimes but damn can he play.  I credit him the most with getting Paul George to stay after he was traded their by the Pacers.  I was shocked that Indiana ever let him go, but he has fit well into the Thunder roster.  Paul George is a top 10 talent, and one of the best scorers in the league which is lethal to pair with Russ.  Everyone expected PG13 to sign with LA this past off season, but at a party hosted by Russ, he came out and announced that he would resign with OKC.  Fucking power move right there.  PG is averaging 28.7 PPG, 8 RPG and 4.1 APG.  In the Thunder’s last 12 games they have went 11-1.  In these last 12 games, PG has scored 31, 31, 36, 23, 36, 37, 43, 37, 39, 27, 45, and 47 points.  That’s a total of 432 points over that span.  In his last 2 games, he’s notched 92 points on 27 of 48 shooting, 14 of 27 from 3, and 24 of 29 from the stripe.  He is BALLING.  Call me crazy, but with these two playing this well with an even stronger core around them than the team has had in years, this team is more lethal than when KD was on the roster.  And I think that they are the realest threat to Golden State in the west and probably the whole damn league too.

I’m calling it now, the Thunder WILL be in the WCF if they don’t meet with the Warriors before then.  The Thunder are really up and coming and are the team to watch.  It’s time for them to be taken seriously again, and Russ, PG and the whole OKC squad of the thugs are making sure you notice.  I sure as shit am, and I’d advise you to do the same.  There’s a storm a comin!

Advertisements

Written by benfiore

NBA writer of Beyond the Arc. Employee, podcast host and writer for Thoughts From the Bench.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s