In winning four straight games against the San Antonio Spurs to advance to their first NBA Finals the Oklahoma City Thunder continued their quick ascension as the anti-Miami Heat.OKC is a championship-contending team built through careful drafting, thoughtful trades and free agent signings, and excellent team-oriented basketball.
The Thunder may have their own “Big 3” in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, but all were brought in through the draft.
There was no extravagant fireworks show for their arrival.
Key secondary guys like Thabo Sefolosha, Derek Fisher, Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka were then added to the mix because they fit well into a continuous system.
They weren’t thrown together at the last minute with limited funds to simply fill out the roster.
OKC certainly had its struggles against San Antonio, but they were able to adjust and overcome them because through it all they’ve worked as one cohesive group with great chemistry.
As we’ve seen throughout these playoffs (New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers), the idea that you can put a team full of superstars together overnight and win now doesn’t always ring true.
Yes, Miami can still win two games and go to their second consecutive NBA Finals but as we’ve found out over the last few weeks, this Heat team is prone to crumbling when things don’t exactly go their way.
For lack of a better term, the Thunder have arrived in the NBA Finals because they were built “the right way.”
The Heat have gotten this far because they basically “copped out” by banding together three superstars and hoping the rest of the league would concede to their reign.
It hasn’t happened, and if their season ends in an NBA Finals matchup with the Thunder don’t expect the “traditional” Big 3 to concede anything.
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