It’s funny how the playoffs work. You beat a team in five games, which seems kind of like it was easy.
But it was most definitely not easy.
The Thunder had to fight for a second round gentleman’s sweep of the Lakers, coming back twice, getting game-winners and scratching their way to the Western Conference Finals. But they’ve very clearly grown up. They don’t panic, don’t lose composure, stay the course, believe in team and battle to the final buzzer. The Thunder were a very good team last season, but the writing on the wall was there in the Memphis series. The offense still had crunch time issues, there were lapses in focus and energy and sometimes immaturity and inexperience reared their ugly heads.
This time around, it appears to be different. The Thunder dismantled a quality Laker team by outplaying, outcoaching, outsmarting, outeverythinging them essentially all five games. Save for a free throw war in Game 4, the Thunder were the better team. The Lakers played it close, but the Thunder moved on because they were quite simply better when it mattered.
Anyway, let’s rank the roster in that second round: Keep Reading…