A season to celebrate for Thunder

By Mike Baldwin Published: October 26, 2008
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Oklahoma City NBA fans will have a lot to celebrate this season. The Thunder will experience the league’s second-best improvement, second only to the Miami Heat.

But collecting 12 more wins than the Sonics recorded last season in Seattle will be bittersweet.

→Finishing 32-50 will give fans hope the playoffs are a realistic goal in a season or two, but the playoffs also will be a reminder what could have been.

→ A couple months after Thunder players return to off-season homes, the New Orleans Hornets, the team Oklahoma City adopted for two years, will win the NBA Championship, defeating Boston in six games in the NBA Finals.

→ Oklahoma City fans will yearn for Chris Paul and David West. But local fans will be comforted, knowing Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook form a solid foundation for the future.

→ Around the league, LeBron James will win his first MVP award but many will claim Paul deserved the honor.

→ The league-wide trend will be more parity. No team will win 60 games while most teams will be in the 30- to 55-win range.