Oklahoma City Thunder Poised to Take Top Seed
San Antonio Spurs guard, Tony Parker just went down with an ankle injury, expected to keep him sidelined for up to four weeks. This is relevant only because entering Sunday's matchup, the Spurs held a slim three-game lead in the Western Conference over the Thunder and only 3 1/2 games over the Clippers.
Without their star guard for the next month, things could get a little shaky up top and allow for a team like the Thunder or Clippers to sneak into that top overall seed. However, after the Thunder won the game from end to end yesterday (the Clippers only lead came with under 2 minutes left at 100-99), they appear poised to be that team to take over the top spot in the West - this after trading James Harden to the Houston Rockets after reaching the NBA Finals last season.
To begin, the Clippers appeared like they were no match for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as the Thunder jumped out to an early lead that would only shrink come the fourth quarter and they managed to hang on. The Clippers were also just slammed on their home court by San Antonio about two weeks ago - so it appears this team is headed in the wrong direction while the Thunder are headed for the #1 seed.
Durant can be looked at as a legitimate threat for the MVP award because he is the most impressive scorer we have in the NBA. His length, athleticism and basketball IQ have transcended his competition night in and night out. When he came into the league he was just a skinny and frail-bodied shooter - but he has evolved.
The Thunder appear poised to make a deep postseason run - and at just the right time they are looking just as fluid offensively as the 15-game streaking Miami Heat. Can the Thunder take the torch all the way back to the NBA Finals or will the Spurs, Clippers or Grizzlies muster up enough courage to dethrone the West Champs?