Kevin Durant was just recently named the MVP of the 2013 – 2014 NBA season. Almost anyone around the NBA world expected him to earn the trophy. Even the four-time MVP LeBron James endorsed KD this year, stating that he clearly deserves the title. Although it took them seven games, the Thunder eventually made it to the Western Semis. The big question for Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the group now is how far they can go. Can Kevin Durant really lift the team over any opponent in the West and lead them to the NBA Finals? Do the Thunder have enough to win the title this year?
First of all, OKC seems locked on its target at the moment. Before getting a shot to the NBA Championship, they will have to roll past a very difficult opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers. Although the Thunder entered the series as the favorites, the reality is that the Clips are a much underrated team and although they experienced a severe issue with their owner, Donald Sterling, it seems that this racism issue only motivated them furthermore. Apart from all the other things Doc Rivers has achieved this year, the handling of this crisis was excellent from his side and that has helped Lob City stay together as group. So the first target for Kevin Durant and the Thunder is to beat the Clippers.
Even if the Thunder get to the Western Conference Finals, they will have two very difficult opponents standing on their way towards the first championship in franchise history. Of course Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook can be surging on offense but an NBA Champion needs much more than just two great scorers. If the Thunder match against the Spurs, it will be anything but easy for them to advance to the next round. Gregg Popovich is a defensive guru and the Spurs play as well on defense as any team in the NBA at the moment, maybe the Pacers could match with them on that sector.
OKC will need all its members to be at their best in order to celebrate the conquest of a championship. And although up to now KD and Westbrook are playing at their 100 percent, the supporting cast hasn’t been as great as expected. Jeremy Lamb has been a non-factor, Thabo Sefolosha is not productive on the offensive end and Caron Butler will have to prove that he still has some fuel left in his basketball tank.
So, for sure Kevin Durant can reach his top level of performance, he can continue knocking down jumpers from all over the court and Russell Westbrook can hopefully stay healthy.
Nonetheless, the Thunder might need more to beat teams like the Spurs or the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers in a seven game series.
For now, OKC can stay optimistic that its leader, Kevin Durant, can find a way to lift the team over any opponent.
Ron Leyba is the content manager of Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – premier source of fantasy basketball updates, rankings and rumors. For more of his fantasy basketball updates, follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ account.