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Kevin Durant Leading Thunder’s Biggest Season Featured

The Thunder's Kevin Durant could end up as the MVP of the 2010-11 NBA season The Thunder's Kevin Durant could end up as the MVP of the 2010-11 NBA season

When the Seattle Supersonics packed up and left the Key Arena for good, they were a lackluster squad with only the most distant hopes of rebuilding into something worthwhile. Most of those hopes hung on the shoulders of Texas Longhorn Kevin Durant. 2007’s second overall pick, Durant had the potential to become an NBA star, and the new basketball market of Oklahoma City, home to the newly christened Thunder, would be the proving ground.

Last season, the Thunder showed they just might make good on all the giant hopes pinned on the shoulders of Durant. Oklahoma City snagged the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference to get their first play-off berth since arriving in the Sooner State.

Then they took on the Los Angeles Lakers and put up an admirable fight, taking the eventual NBA champions to six games before bowing out. Durant, the 2008 Rookie of the Year, showed strong signs of greatness to come. And this year is the next year on the 22-year-old’s quest for basketball supremacy.

In ’09-10 Durant averaged 30.1 points per game to become the youngest player in NBA history to win the scoring title. In 2010-11 Durant is a favorite to be named NBA MVP. It’s astonishing to think that he’s still getting better.

But Durant isn’t the only phenom fueling the Thunder. After a strong rookie campaign in 2008-09, Russell Westbrook started all 82 games for Oklahoma City last season, averaging 16.1 points per game. The former 4th overall pick and UCLA Bruins alumnus is on pace for his best season yet in 2010-11. And at 21, the kid’s got many more incredible years to come.

Durant and Westbrook represent the future of the NBA, and are destined to dominate the Western Conference if they continue to grow together in Oklahoma City. Any team in the league should be watching the Thunder with abject fear at the way these two are destined to dominate the game of basketball. They’re both still a few years from their prime, and some more post-season experience is the thing they each need the most. But for the foreseeable future at least, they make for one of the most exciting duos in the league.

So what can we expect from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2010-11 NBA season? They should land a better playoff seed this year, and are a good pick to advance at least one round this time. The X-factor is how soon they run into Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers again. And then there’s the emergent New Orleans Hornets, led by Chris Paul, whose perfect start indicates a strong campaign ahead. But whether or not this is Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s big year to make a splash, it’s only a matter of time until hoops fans in Oklahoma are watching a perennial title contender.

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Last modified on Monday, 12 November 2012 06:31

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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