Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant said team is playing well 19 games into season

Despite infamous shake-up, trading James Harden to Houston, Oklahoma City is in first place with a 15-4 record
By Darnell Mayberry Published: December 5, 2012
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Kevin Durant was asked after Tuesday's game at Brooklyn how he felt about his Thunder team.

“I feel really good about our team,” he said before rattling off a string of reasons why.

“We're 19 games into a long season. But right now I like the group we have. Kevin Martin has come in and played well for us. Russell (Westbrook) is stepping his game up. (Kendrick Perkins) is doing a great job. Everybody is just filling in for what James (Harden) left off. And we have a great group of guys here, and we're just doing a great job of just playing together and playing defense. That's the key formula.”

The winning formula, one very few probably saw coming following Harden's trade to Houston.

But the Thunder is 15-4 and rolling despite its infamous shake-up. Oklahoma City is on a season-high six-game winning streak and is now preparing to open a five-game home stand that could bump the Thunder to 20-4 if all goes according to plan.

“You want them all,” said Eric Maynor. “But we're not looking at the streak. We're just looking to try to play good basketball every night and that's what we're doing right now.”

It's clear that the Thunder currently is playing its best ball of the season. The offense is the best in the league, no matter how you slice it, be it efficiency or points per game. The defense is improving and even after a slow start the Thunder ranks second in opponent field goal percentage, limiting teams to 42.4 percent.

“I think we're meshing great,” said Westbrook. “I think we're doing a great job of just passing the basketball and playing off each other and making each other better.”

After ranking last in the league in assists last season, the Thunder continues to display better ball movement this year. Oklahoma City is tied for seventh in assists per game with a 22.6 average. It's an improvement that has made the Thunder a tougher team to defend, as more players have become threats on the offensive end.



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