The NBA 30 in 30 is a look at each team as the coming 2013-2014 season approaches. This look reviews their current roster, last year's experience, new developments and a prediction as to where the organization will end at the conclusion of the upcoming year of NBA action.
The Oklahoma City Thunder had quite the disappointing 2012-2013 season. While the team was able to earn a 60-22 record, which was the best in the Western Conference, they were unable to win an NBA Championship which was the true goal for the organization. They were put out in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies in five games. Many will point towards the injury of Russell Westbrook that went down to a knee injury. Coming into the 2013-2014 year, that is the main question that the Thunder must answer.
The Thunder have one of the premier scorers in the league in Kevin Durant. He averaged 28.1 points and 7.9 rebounds, but his 4.6 assists per game are often overlooked. Durant is one of the most versatile players in the league and he's expected to take an even bigger role in this team dynamic. Westbrook is set to be out for at least the first month of action so that will give Durant the opportunity to be the focal point of everything Oklahoma City will do.
Westbrook is one of the top guards in the league and he played well throughout last year. His contributions will be missed and there is no telling what shape he will be in when he does return. That leaves Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher to pick up the load for OKC.
Oklahoma City will also need more offensive output from Serge Ibaka who is a defensive stalwart but needs to become a double-double machine for this team to make it back to the NBA Finals. Kendrick Perkins is in the same position; he's known for being a defensive force but isn't a contributor on the offensive side of the court. That makes both of these individuals expendable late in the season as moves are often made to bring scorers onto team rosters for a season push.
At this point, Oklahoma City should be considered one of the top three teams in the Western Conference. Yet they need more offensive firepower if they are going to make it to the finals once again with teams such as the LA Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies playing at full strength.
Expected Starting Roster with 2012-2013 Stats
Reggie Jackson, PG: 5.3 PPG, 1.7 APG
Thabo Sefolosha, SG: 7.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG
Kevin Durant, SF: 28.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG
Serge Ibaka, PF: 13.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG
Kendrick Perkins, C: 4.2 PPG, 6 RPG
Expected Season Finish
1st in Western Conference