- 05/26/2011, 03:42AM ET
J-Business said 05/26, 08:26 AM
The supposed "rift" between Westbrook not accepting the 1A role to Durant's #1 role is OKC's biggest obstacle to being a perennial contender.
In theory, their team seems to be set. They have a superstar in Durant
A 2nd tier star in Westbrook.
A decent center in Perkins
A 3rd scorer in James Harden.
Good coach with Brooks and also a good fan base.
Even if it started as a media invention, there is some truth there.
Westbrook makes too many bad plays and takes too many shots.
There's also precedent with previous good young teams.
Dallas Mavericks with Jason Kidd, Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson. They allowed internal problems to bring the team down.
Washington Bullets with a young Webber, Juwan Howard and Rod Strickland
In the early 2000's the Clippers had a nice young nucleus that they couldn't keep together.
The history of the NBA is filled with young teams who could've, would've, should've of but they didn't because of a clash between players.
If Westbrook isn't able to fully accept Durant as being the undisputed top player, OKC will never reach their potential.
Kyukfan said 05/26, 08:43 AM
The Thunders biggest obstacle is the lack of a veteran presence on the floor. Durant is a class act don't get me wrong however Westbrook has really shown his immaturity both by his attitude and the number of times he shoots the ball and his FG%.
Westbrook is out of position. He is a SG. He turns the ball over way too much, actually lead the league with 3.9 turnovers per game, and has only so so assist numbers. Which aren't great once you consider all the turnovers.
Durant, Harden, and Westbrook are great scorers but at times look one dimensional like Carmelo. Great scorers but not much else. Defensivesly they have some bring spots like the up and coming Ibaka but they allowed 101 points a game which was 18th in the league. Not the worst but could defiantly improve. This is opposed to their offense which was 5th in the league. Defense wins championships.
So I don't believe Westbrook and Durant's chemistry is a problem for the Thunder. I think it's:
1. Lack of veteran leadershp
2. Lack of great defensive players
3. Lack of true PG
4. Young one dimensional scorers
J-Business said 05/26, 01:30 PM
Let's look at your points
"1. Lack of veteran leadership"
OKC may be young but they are not a team that's fresh out of college. Perkins has a title and their other players have playoff experience.
"2. Lack of great defensive players"
Sefolosha, Ibaka and Perkins are very good defensive players.
Their defense is ranked low because their offense runs a lot and provides a lot extra possessions.
"3. Lack of true PG"
This is overrated. There are only a few true PG's in the league and this isn't necessary to win a title.
Also Westbrook averaged 8 assists a game
"4. Young one dimensional scorers"
Durant is the most dynamic scorer in the league. He can shoot, he can drive and he can blend the two. Westbrook can drive and score and has developed a jump shot.
You're only relevant point is #1 and that will come in time.
The issues between Durant and Westbrook is the real threat here.
Westbrook is the PG. This involves him setting up Durant at the most important points of the game, not taking a shot with 16 secs on the shot clock.
If what a teammate said "Westbrook thinks he's as good or better than Durant", than OKC has a major problem brewing.
Kyukfan said 05/26, 06:15 PM
Let's look at your counter-argument 1: Some playoff experience and one ring on a team doesn't veteran leadership make. They are a very young team. The Mavs beat them purely because the Thunder are immature and the Mavs played good defense.
counter-argument 2: Sefolosha is a good on ball defender. Ibaka is a great shoot blocker. I will give you him. However at times Perkins is only a so-so defender. Especially against other bigs he was being taken to town. The frontcourt is defiantly a weakness. Perkins helped but no enough.
counter-argument 3: Westbrook turns the ball over way too much. It's because he plays better without the ball constantly being in his hands. He averaged 8 assists a game however he had really good offensive tools. His turnovers per game really showed that he makes bad decisions with the ball. He needs to be at the 2.
counter-argument 4: I really wasn't clear about this and I'm sorry. I meant that they score and don't play good defense. I meant they are one dimensional as they only play good offensively.
This argument is really played up by the media. Durant and Westbrook knows whose team it is.
J-Business said 05/27, 12:01 PM
Th Durant-Westbrook issue may have started out as a media creation but it's built on very real issues. Here are some specific points.
1. Screaming match with coaches on the sideline after being taken out
2. The one game OKC won this series was when Brooks sat Westbrook on the bench and ran the offense through Maynor. Not good.
3. Bad body language
4. Very bad shots late in the 4th qtr
5. He makes a lot less than Durant and I'm sure a team will make him a big offer
6. The dinner at Durant's home (Memphis series)
With OKC down 1 game, Perkins asked Durant to host a dinner at his home. The main point was: this is your team
Durant is the obvious superstar but at times in the game, Westbrook is the one forcing shots and looking to be the main focus. So obviously he doesn't really believe that it's "Durant's team".
If OKC is expected to progress and become a much better team, Westbrook has to embrace the role of being more of a facilitator and PG for the team.
OKC has the potential to be one of the best teams but they have to figure out a way for Durant and Westbrook to coexist.
History has shown that this could be a problem.
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