There would be doubts about the Thunder. There would be worries about their chances. There would be questions about Brooks.
Instead, the Thunder Bandwagon has picked up a serious head of steam. Keep it rolling, and Brooks will be due a big-time contract.
Now, I'm not suggesting that the Thunder does something absurd in terms of length of contract or amount of salary. We've seen how unexpectedly and quickly player-team-coach relationships can go south, so there's no need for the Thunder to paint itself into a corner.
But there's also no need to go looking for another coach. Brooks has shown himself exceptional at every phase in this team's development.
“At first, (his job) was just to try to maintain a positive attitude and try to work with guys so we could become better players,” said Collison, one of only three players who've played for Brooks every game of his head coaching career. “Then, we got into the playoffs. Now, things are changing again and it's about how to manage all these talented players and try to build chemistry.
“Like our team has changed, I think his job has changed. And he's done a great job.”
Super sub James Harden said: “It's hard ... when you've got a good group of talent like we have. So many good players, it's hard to keep those players intact. He just does a great job.
“He's the perfect coach for us.”
Maybe it comes from the fact that Brooks played in the NBA. Maybe it's because he had a chance to play for so many different coaches during his journeyman career. Maybe it's just who he is.
Or perhaps it's the combination of all those things.
Brooks does his darnedest to deflect any sort of credit for this team's success.
“I just always focus on the players,” he said. “I think it's important that we just continue to focus on the players.
“Everything we talk about it always about team development, improving as a team.”
The thing is, Brooks is a big part of this team, its improvement and its success.
Remember a couple years ago when people wondered if Brooks could take the Thunder from fringe playoff team to serious playoff contender? Or a year ago when people said he was badly out-coached by Carlisle in the Western Conference Finals?
That talk has been swatted away like a Serge Ibaka rejection.
Scott Brooks is the right coach for this team. The players say it, the front-office bigwigs know it, and the longer this playoff run goes, the more that new contract with the Thunder should reflect it.