From the Roundtable:
Zach: I never like to say one player has put the team on their back (because it???s inaccurate), but Kevin Durant has been the heart and soul of this team. As expected, KD has been the leader of this young Thunder team in scoring, assists, and rebounding lately and it has been a testament to his character and role on this team. Durant certainly has deserved everything coming to him, short of a yet-proven championship. I think if the Thunder are still around in July, it might be worth it to add ???I told you so??? when talking about trading James Harden instead of Westbrook.
EJ: Reggie Jackson has been great for the Thunder. The backup point guard has stepped up and taken some of the pressure off of Kevin Durant. Well, maybe not all of the pressure since Durant has been playing at an MVP level so far this season. KD has been playing off of the charts and in the short term the Thunder have shown they can handle Westbrook being out. Long term? They need Russell Westbrook back. They can beat the Spurs without Russell, but I can???t see the Thunder being a serious title threat without him.
DJ: It???s barely halfway through the regular season. It basically means nothing. The playoffs are a completely different season altogether. Beating a team 3 times in an 82 game marathon type season is just another game. If they beat them 4 out of 7 times in the postseason it means a lot more.
Bill: Not entirely, but Reggie Jackson has sure made things easier on them. Durant seems to have no problem making it clear to anyone trying to guard him or to any team they are playing that he???s the main focus on this team, Russell Westbrook be damned. His scoring output over the past nine or so games (30+ PPG each) has made that abundantly clear. Will he be able to continue his streak and not burn out? Will the other members of the team be able to step up and carry the load should Durant falter or get injured? As we all know, the games during the regular season only count when determining playoff positioning. Once the actual playoffs begin, it???s a whole different ball game.
If they can make it back to the Finals, they might fare better than last time. Seeing as I???m a Sonics fan and utterly despise the ownership in OKC, I would love nothing more than for them to taste defeat once again at the hands of whomever they might face. I have no ill will to the players, mind you, so don???t get my hatred misconstrued. It???s directed firmly at Clay Bennett and no one else.
Got more, plus Joao's essay responce to the Q at.