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Oklahoma City Thunder: Why the Thunder's next two games could feel like a track meet

A back-to-back against the high-octane Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors promises to offer plenty of fast-paced and potentially high-scoring basketball.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: November 12, 2013

How might any of this help the Thunder win?

The most beneficial aspect of having such an athletic roster is versatility. Regardless of what an opponent throws at the Thunder a counter is available. OKC can play big or small. It can play fast, or it can play slow. It can embrace a physical game or a finesse style.

But without the team's athleticism, matching up in many of those scenarios would be impossible.

For example, if the Clippers or Warriors trot out a small lineup the Thunder can counter with a three-guard lineup consisting of Westbrook, Jackson and Lamb, as well as Durant and a more traditional big man. It's a unit that would put pressure on defenses because of its ability to attack the rim and score from the perimeter, but it's one that wouldn't be as prone to defensive breakdowns thanks in large part to Jackson and Lamb both possessing 7-foot wingspans.

Youth gives the Thunder even more of an advantage.

Each of the aforementioned nine players is 25 or younger, which theoretically allows OKC to run longer and recover faster.

The scary part is so far the Thunder hasn't even scratched the surface of what it's capable of with its new cast of characters. Yet the team's offense has been on par with fast-paced teams like the Clippers and Warriors.

Prior to Tuesday's games, the Thunder was tied with Atlanta for 10th in pace at 100.1 possessions per game. Its offense has generated 101.8 points per 100 possessions, the ninth most in the league.

And so if we do see a track meet out west, it could be exactly what the Thunder's offense needs.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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