Oklahoma City Thunder Not Doing Well
Oklahoma City Thunder Not Doing Well (source: Liberty Voice)

Wasted Talent at Oklahoma City Thunder

LeBron James may be the best player in the world, but arguably the #2-3 spots belong to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Add into that a top 3 rim protector in Serge Ibaka and you have a team that should have a couple of rings right now, or at the very least one. Not only are they ring-less, but they have only been to the NBA finals a single time against eventual champs the Miami Heat, which is coincidentally the last time the team had gunner James Harden. Things wouldn’t be so inconceivably bad if the team didn’t jump the gun and trade Harden after that failed finals attempt, breaking up the nucleus and handing the Houston Rockets a perennial all-star that has even landed in the MVP discussions yearly.

The front office shoulders some of the blame, as well as the Thunder players themselves. But the majority of the blame needs to land is on former head coach Scott Brooks, the much bemoaned 2008-15 choice of the organization. Brooks was always an interesting choice, inheriting the team from a much more experienced P.J. Carlesimo. This was during the transition period where the team moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City, a move that caused a lot of dissention in not only the locker room but among the coaching staff. Carlesimo went into a slight slump with the team, and was fired in favor of interim coach Scott Brooks. He went on a winning spree, and the rest is history. His method is very unorthodox, leading to several regular season wins but faltering in the playoffs due to the tighter defenses and more focused sets.

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His style of coaching is to let his best players play the way they want while he intervenes- in other words his method of coaching is to not coach. This isn’t along the lines of what Zen Master Phil Jackson used to do with the Bulls or the Lakers, where they would go in slumps and he refused to call a timeout. What Brooks represents is a young coach that never put in a structure with his team, which led to bad habits that he was unable to bring them out of when it counted. A more traditional coach took Brook’s place for this season, by the name of Billy Donovan. With a 19 year tenure at the University of Florida which earned his employer 2 NCAA championships, not only does he have the alpha mentality to change the lazy atmosphere that Brook’s created in the locker room but he can put them back on track to winning a championship. Let’s just hope that by the time he implements his system the Thunder haven’t lost their best players to free agency.

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