Three Thunder Thoughts: Scouts, Nike KD V's and Wins

Dilip Vishwanat

The Oklahoma City Thunder will begin their 2012-13 season next week. The scouts have things to say about OKC, Nike unveils the KD V's and everyone wants to talk about how many wins OKC will get. A breakdown is needed.

We are now one week away from the Oklahoma City Thunder taking the court in San Antonio to face the Spurs on November 1st. The Thunder are now on the rebound from last year's incredible journey of conquering the Western Conference and making their first appearance to the NBA FInals. The question now is, how will the Thunder overcome those beasts from the East, along with the newly formed beasts in the West?

Its simple. Don't listen to what the (we) media says, wear dope kicks, and beat the tar out of everyone that crosses your path, that's how.

Happy Friday, everybody. Here are three Thunder thoughts to take with you for the weekend.

The scouts have some interesting opinions about the Thunder

The folks over at Sports illustrated did a wonderful piece with anonymous scouts in the NBA and assessing the talent on each team. A great read that I suggest you peruse. For the Thunder, one particular snippet caught my eye.

Kevin Durant could be dominant at the defensive end because he's so long and athletic. He's not going to get sculpted and change his body, but he'll continue to develop naturally and become stronger. Offensively, he's just so smooth. It's so easy for him to score. All he needs is that flick of a wrist to convert from the three-point line, and that's not even his greatest attribute. He's a scoring machine who can shoot. You can do anything with him in your offense to get a basket. For example, you hear a lot of people say what a great scorer Carmelo Anthony is, and they're right to say it, but then compare him with Durant and it isn't even close. Durant is a better shooter and a better scorer overall.

Yes, I understand much of this is what you already know or you wanted to believe. Yes, I truly believe that Durant is emerging as a great defensive player. Yes, he fills up the score sheet like nobody's business. Dude's a beast. However, the note about Durant vs. Carmelo Anthony is lined up beautifully.

Durant is starting to outshine Carmelo as a pure scorer, mostly because his repertoire down low is becoming so efficient. His shooting touch has been better since day one, but Carmelo's scary because he's so strong and quick while having great footwork. His scores despite his shooting ability, not because of it. Durant's the opposite, and his physical gifts are evolving as well. Durant will show that he's head and shoulders above anyone who thinks they can challenge for the scoring throne.

The Nike KD V's are dope, but not as dope as the KD IV's

If you haven't had a chance to check them out, Nike unveiled their latest installment of Kevin Durant's new signature shoes, the KD V. A stunning shoe, with the latest and greatest installed in the kicks, KD's shoes are going to shine bright on the court.

However, I'll admit that I like the KD IV's better. A lower-profile shoe (from a design standpoint) and a shoe under $100 (important for the kids) sold me for some reason. Yes, $110 isn't much more, and the higher profile around the ankle probably helps on the court...but I need to get a pair of these in my hands first. (Hey Nike...what up?) Check the video for some perspective on the new shoe and Durant.

How many wins will the Thunder get this season?

Las Vegas has decided that the over/under for the amount of wins the Oklahoma City Thunder will get has been set at 60.5. The betting public are investing heavily in the over, as the West champs are bringing virtually everyone back (sorry Nazr) and for a team so young, this team should get better. Right?

Right.

Although I think the Western Conference has improved greatly at the top, the Los Angeles Lakers are really good again, San Antonio will still be good, Denver looks really good, plus other teams, OKC's going to have competition in the conference. Plus, the Thunder haven't dealt with any major injures to their players (knock on wood) and while you can't predict these things, you never know if/when it will happen.

I'd still bet the over, but I wouldn't bet it so aggressively. Besides, the biggest wins we need are in the post-season, not the regular season.

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