Ten times in NBA history, a team has had a trio of scorers which averaged at least 57 points a game and were a combined age of younger than 70. The teams, with their cumulative age:
1. 2009 Thunder 62.1
Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City to a 23-59 record.
2. 1982 Pistons 67.5
John Long, Kelly Tripucka and Isiah Thomas led Detroit to 39-43 record. Two years later, Pistons began a long playoff streak, but Tripucka and Long were gone by the time Pistons made NBA Finals in 1988.
Lesson for Thunder: Reaching the top takes time.
3. 1999 Nets 68.4
Stephon Marbury, Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles led New Jersey to a 16-34 record. When the Nets made the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003, only Kittles remained.
Lesson for Thunder: Don't build with knuckleheads.
4. 1993 Hornets 69.0
Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Kendall Gill led Charlotte to 44-38 record and Eastern Conference semifinals. That was Gill's final year with the Hornets; Mourning played two more seasons in Charlotte and Johnson three. The Hornets remained competitive but never made the conference finals.
Lesson for Thunder: Keep the core together.
5. 1985 Rockets 69.1
Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Rodney McCray led Houston to 48-34 record and first of seven straight playoff appearances (and 14 in 15 years). Rockets made NBA Finals in 1986 and won NBA titles in 1994 and 1995, but only Olajuwon was a Houston long-timer.
Lesson for Thunder: Know who your star is.
6. 1973 Blazers 69.2
Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks and Lloyd Neal led Portland to 21-61 record. Only Neal remained, as a backup, when Blazers broke long losing history and won 1977 NBA Finals.
Lesson for Thunder: Sometimes, someone has to score.
7. 1993 Magic 69.2
Shaquille O'Neal, Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott led Orlando to a 41-41 record. Magic reached NBA Finals in 1995 and Eastern Conference Finals in 1996, but then Shaq bolted for LA.
Lesson for Thunder: Keep Durant in OKC.
8. 1994 Magic 69.2
Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway and Nick Anderson led Orlando to 50-32 record. Hardaway, Anderson and Scott remained the core after Shaq's 1996 departure.
Lesson for Thunder: Keep adding young pieces.
9. 1983 Mavericks 69.3
Mark Aguirre, Jay Vincent and Rolando Blackman led Dallas to 38-44 record. Mavs then reached playoffs the next five years, including the 1988 Western Conference Finals, though Vincent was gone by then.
Lesson for Thunder: Nothing wrong with building slowly.
10. 2003 Suns 69.4
Stephon Marbury, Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudamire led Phoenix to 44-38 record. Suns traded Marbury the next season, then signed Steve Nash as a free agent and became an NBA power.
Lesson for Thunder: Never be tempted by Starbury.