Ibaka has stabilized the frontcourt rotation. And Maynor has solidified the backup point guard spot.
4. Player developmentKevin Durant and Jeff Green made a pact over the summer to come back as improved players and they did exactly that. Durant blossomed into an All-Star and MVP candidate, while Green continued to improve his all-around game and consistency. But few figured Russell Westbrook would return for his second season showing as much improvement as he has. Westbrook has evolved into one of the best young point guards in the game and has been as instrumental as any player in the Thunder’s success.
5. ChemistryIt might sound corny or clichÃ©d, but Thunder players really do like each other. And their fondness for one another has fueled a team-first approach and led to positive results on the floor. Without such strong camaraderie, the Thunder very well could be Golden State, Minnesota or New Jersey. BY DARNELL MAYBERRY
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