It’s a terrifying place to be. Especially when you’re a virgin.
An NBA title favorite virgin, that is. Gone are the easy-come-easy-go days of being the young and fun upstart group of kids. No more process or building for the future talk. It’s now. The Thunder are damn good and everybody knows it. They’re still extremely young and Sam Presti’s master plan is working wonderfully in that if Oklahoma City falls short this season, there should be another five or six years of trying. Or if we’re lucky, 50.
But you worry about next year, next year. It’s this year, this year. It’s playoff time now and the Thunder are one of the four or five teams most likely to win it all. And if that doesn’t scare you to death, you either don’t have a pulse or you only like the Thunder because you think a couple of the players are cute and their Twitter accounts are funny.
Here the Thunder are, on the eve of the postseason as a favorite. When you add that word to the mix, another is potentially tagged onto the back end of it — disappointment. Things have progressed with this team, from project to upstart to dark horse to legitimate contender. But what’s worrisome is that while I think we’d all agree that the team is better, a year older and a year wiser from elimination in the Western Finals, it still does feel a little like the same group that struggled executing late in games. We saw some of those same old issues during the past couple weeks and with the Thunder losing to the last seven playoff-bound teams they’ve faced, the anxiety meter has ratcheted up a notch. Keep Reading…