The Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder are two of the premier teams in the NBA. Now that their season series is over, what have we learned about the matchup? Here are three things that you should take away from the 3 games that took place, with an eye towards the playoffs, too.
The two best point guards in the league, with Chris Paul and Damian Lillard not far behind, are Steph and Russ. The gap between the two, however, is immense. Firstly, Russ hasn’t been able to come away with a win against Steph all season. But aside from that, Steph has simply outpreformed his OKC counterpart. In their latest matchup, a game that Steph didn’t really play all that well in, Russ came away with 22 points, 4 fouls, and shot 33% from the floor. Steph, on the other hand, grabbed 33 points, and was 48% from the floor. It was one of Steph’s highest volume and lowest percentage games recently, (except that Lakers game that we won’t talk about) and he still outperformed Russ.
2. Depth is more important that you probably think
The fact that the Dubs have one of the best bench is well-documented. I mean, how many other NBA teams have guys like Andre Iguodala coming off the bench? But less well known, is the fact that the Thunder simply can’t win a championship with the bench that they currently boast. No contender should have Dion Waiters as their sixth man. Seriously. The man is like a walking “Shaqtin-A-Fool” episode. Not only does Dion come off the bench first, but he is quickly followed by Kyle Singler. And while Kyle Singler was a great college player, his talents certainly have not yet translated to the NBA, and most likely never fully will. Enes Kanter, on the other hand, is a very solid player, and he certainly provides great depth behind Steven Adams. But one great bench player just isn’t enough to win a championship in today’s NBA. The two main title favorites, San Antonio and the Dubs, both have the top two benches in the NBA. That is not a coincidence.
3. KD can’t wait to come to the Bay
Now, I didn’t actually learn this from watching Kevin Durant‘s body language or anything like that. I learned this from the fact that, no matter what KD does, or what his teammates do, he just can’t beat the Warriors. Seriously. KD pretty much always plays his best against the Warriors. He grabs rebounds, he scores a bunch of points, he facilitates, but he just can’t grab a W. The days of the Thunder being the ‘team of the future’ are long gone. The Thunder are now just another contender with a good amount of talent, but won’t be able to beat the Dubs. Clippers, Thunder, Raptors, all those teams are all lacking one or two pieces. They just can’t get to that next level. And it sounds like Durant is fed up. What does this mean? It means that I can’t wait until Kevin Durant is rocking gold and blue.