The Oklahoma City Thunder were already falling at the wrong time, and now comes the injury to James Harden courtesy of Ron Artest/Metta World Peace. In short, there’s a slight cause for concern in Oklahoma City these days due to Kevin Durant and company failing to win key games late in the season. It’s the sort of slump that has them falling in Marc Stein’s latest NBA Power Rankings at ESPN.
Stein writes, “NBA.com’s one-man rankings committee (John Schumann) tweeted Sunday night that the Thunder are 0-6 against playoff teams since their April 1 home win over Chicago. There’s worse news: OKC might very well have to beat the Mavericks, Lakers and Spurs, in order, just to make it to its maiden NBA Finals.”
The Thunder are obviously still talented and young enough to bounce back to the level of dominance they exhibited for most of the season. This is the type of trial that will test a young team like this, so Scott Brooks has a major task before him as the team’s head coach. Still it will come down to Durant and Russell Westbrook to shoulder the bulk of the burden to turn things around.