I’m sorry to say it, Tim Duncan and company, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are taking the Western Conference Championship this year.
Led by three-time NBA scoring title champion Kevin Durant, the Thunder have stormed back from a 2-0 hole to put the team the nation had chosen to advance to the NBA Finals on its heels.
Call it nothing more than home-court advantage if you choose, but the way the Thunder broke down the San Antonio Spurs’ game plan in games three and four was more than enough of a reason to think this team could go all the way.
Russell Westbrook’s intensity on both ends of the floor and James Harden’s sound decision-making skills have helped the Thunder climb out of the hole that Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili dug for themselves.
Even Gregg Popovich, the Spurs’ inevitable Hall of Fame coach, was impressed by the Thunder following his team’s 20-point loss in game three.
“They were very active (and) physical,” he said. “They moved the ball well on offense.
They did all those things better than we did. They beat us good.”
If the Thunder can find a way to stop the Spurs on the road, it looks like the boys in blue will be headed to South Beach to face reigning MVP LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the Finals.