NBA Playoffs 2012: How Did Oklahoma City Thunder Become the Team to Beat?

June 5th, 2012 by Wesley Hodges Leave a reply »
As much as it pains me to say this—and it does, as I am a Portland Trail Blazers fan at heart—the Oklahoma City Thunder have done it. They have ascended all the way to the top and have become the NBA's best team.

Most analysts and fans saw their potential to do so, stemming from last year's playoff successes. However, the prevailing belief, even as recently as a week ago, seemed to be that the Thunder were, at best, trailing the San Antonio Spurs and possibly the Miami Heat as well.

However, as much success they seemed to achieve, the doubters kept coming back.  

They shoot too many jump shots.  

They don't get enough from their bigs.  

Russell Westbrook doesn't know how to run the team efficiently.  

Scott Brooks can't touch Gregg Poppovich's coaching abilities.

I found myself wrapped up in some of these concerns as well. After Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, I began to think that the Thunder, after looking so good against the Mavericks and Lakers, were about to get swept right out of the playoffs by the older, more efficient Spurs.

Not so.

As ...

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