Grantland’s Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose are counting down their power rankings of the top teams in the NBA with video previews. They reached the Oklahoma City Thunder with their number six best team.
The video is entertaining because that’s what they do. They bring up the Harden trade a bunch of course and say some things that aren’t exactly true, which is what always happens when national media analyzes your team.
They are really hard on the young Thunder players and don’t seem too confident they will contribute much this season. That’s fine because they are pretty unproven up to this point.
Interestingly, they didn’t mention Scott Brooks even once. I guess they are fine with him as a coach. That seems to be one of the biggest storylines that they missed. Is Brooks on the hot seat? Is Brooks’ simple offensive sets a real problem for the Thunder?
Jalen predicted that Durant will average 38 points per game from the start of the season through January, while Westbrook is recovering from his injury. That’s pretty high and considering Durant’s emphasis to become more of a playmaker, I doubt he will score that much (although watching it would be insanely entertaining).
I understand people being in the boat that Jalen and Simmons are that the Thunder threw away title chances with the Harden trade. But it’s really hard not to be optimistic about this team after the preseason. Steven Adams looks great and like he can contribute right away. Andre Roberson may be a player who can give OKC something special as well. Jeremy Lamb has the talent and I think it will only be a matter of time before he comes into his own.