In a conference call Wednesday ESPN NBA analysts Hubie Brown, a former NBA coach, and Jon Barry, a former NBA player, rated the Thunder's chances of winning the Western Conference:
Jon Barry: I think San Antonio and Oklahoma City rank 1 and 1A. The Lakers would be the only other team that I would give a chance to come out of the West. My only concern with Oklahoma City is the turnovers. I believe the benchmark is about 17. I think when they turn it over less than 17, something like 32-5. When they turn it over more than 17, they're like 15-11. It's a big disparity in their turnover game. They're a one-on-one team with very little low-post scoring, which does present a little bit of a problem for me to get easy baskets. (Russell) Westbrook has not played well of late. Hopefully that's not a sign going into the playoffs. He's really struggled with his shot. I think if Derek Fisher can give them some great minutes and move Westbrook to the two (spot), I think that's when they're at their best and they can play small, play (James) Harden, (Kevin) Durant, Westbrook, Fisher and any one of the bigs that you want, I think that's a very, very dangerous lineup, particularly against most of the teams that they're going to play they're not going to have to worry about the bigs. They certainly have a great opportunity to come out of the West.