OKC Thunder: Best team in the NBA resides in Oklahoma City

The Thunder has defeated the “Beasts of the East” in consecutive weekends. Should there be any doubt that OKC has the league's No. 1 team?
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 1, 2012

For starters, the Thunder put the clamps on the Bulls. Of its first 11 possessions of the second half, Chicago scored points on only two of them.

And despite seven missed shots during that stretch, the Bulls didn't get a single offensive rebound.

As good as the Thunder was defensively in that 20-5 run, it was even better offensively. It scored on five of its first six possessions and nine of 12.

Fittingly, the spurt was punctuated by a half-court alley-oop pass from Russell Westbrook to Kevin Durant.

That knockout punch left the Bulls out of sorts the rest of the afternoon.

We've seen the Thunder delivering that kind of blow more and more lately. It did it against the Lakers, the Blazers and the Clippers.

Add the Bulls to list.

“We have a deep team, and we know if we keep playing hard ... sooner or later it's going to wear on teams,” veteran big man Nazr Mohammed said. “We just want to keep that high level of play, keep throwing waves at them.”

Durant said: “We've just picked up the intensity, I think. Every possession, we've just been trying to scramble as hard as we can on the defensive end and move the ball on the offensive end.

“We've got to keep it up.”

If they do, the rest of the NBA had better watch out. That killer mentality we saw Sunday separates the Thunder. It is no longer one of the best teams in the league. It is the best.

So, let those pie-in-the-sky expectations run rampant.

I'm not about to try to stop them.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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