On Saturday Kevin Durant will return to his former home in Oklahoma City. The Thunder and Warriors have met twice already in the season. Golden State Warriors have gotten the best out of the Thunder twice, therefore you can expect the Thunder will be looking for revenge.
The Oklahoma City Thunder built the team around two specific individuals Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant was selected 2nd overall in the 2007 Draft to the Seattle Supersonics. That year Durant won Rookie of the Year. The next year in the 2008 NBA Draft the Seattle Supersonics selected Westbrook fourth overall pick.
Durant has played 10 seasons in the NBA but eight were in Oklahoma City. Together they managed to take the Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs six times. Durant has been selected to eight all-star appearances compared to Westbrook six appearances. The Thunder were in the NBA Finals in 2012 against the Miami Heat. The Heat destroyed them in five games. They lost that series due to lack of experience but it’s still mind blowing how the Thunder didn’t make it back to the NBA Finals.
The following season 2013-14 season Durant was out for redemption and in the process, he was crowned the NBA MVP. Durant guided the Thunder to the NBA’s second-best record at 59-23 that year. Durant averaged a career-best 32 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists, also a career-high. Then last year in the playoffs at Western Conference Finals OKC was about to make history. The Thunder were up three to one on the Warriors. However, they had an epic collapse and lost the series to the Warriors in seven games.
As a result of this disaster in the Western Conference Finals, this caused Durant to make a difficult decision in free agency. Durant decided to take his talents to the Warriors. This move came with serious backlash from all the media and the fans. Since this move, Westbrook and Durant have spoken once. Westbrook, he feels his trust and loyalty was broken. Personally, I respect Westbrook because he keeps always keeps it real in every situation.
Photo credit courtesy via Sports Illustrated
Photo credit courtesy Bleacher Report
Durant has really bought into the Warriors system as a third or fourth option. He is averaging 25.7 Points 4.9 assists 8.4 rebounds while shooting an unbelievable 53.7% from the field. The Warriors have the best record in the NBA at 44-8.
On the other hand, the Oklahoma City Thunder sits seven in the competitive western conference at 31-23. Russell Westbrook, he is averaging a triple double 30.9 PPG 10.2 APG 10.5 RPG. This is mind blowing and watching Westbrook is must see TV. Currently, he has 26 triple doubles on the season which is unbelievable. The only other man to average a triple-double the entire season was Oscar Robinson back in 1961-62 season with Milwaukee Bucks.