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Thunder proving to be real challenge to Warriors

While the Warriors have proven to be a great team, the Thunder have the most dominant duo in the NBA that has given them fits all year long.

While the Warriors have proven to be a great team, the Thunder have the most dominant duo in the NBA that has given them fits all year long.

It’s why they call the playoffs the second season.

By the end of the regular season, Golden State Warriors were almost being handed their second-straight NBA Championship. But that was before the Oklahoma City Thunder came into the picture.

The Thunder already proved their strength in game one of the Western Conference Finals as they defeated the Warriors 108-102. And sure, the Warriors brought their unstoppable energy in game two and evened the series with a 118-91 victory over OKC, but the Thunder now they can beat the Warriors.

And remember, they did lead Golden State in the fourth quarter of every game they played during the regular season. The Thunder collapsed every time they played them in the regular season. That is also a credit to Golden State for gutting out a win, but the Warriors no longer look impossible to beat.

The Warriors are shooting at such a ridiculously high field goal percentage from everywhere on the floor, and they have the best player in the league in Stephen Curry, but the Thunder have the best big two in the game with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. And Steve Adams has turned into a max contract level player in the middle while Serge Ibaka and Dion Waiters are proven threats as fourth and fifth options on the offense.

But the difference is that the Thunder need Durant and Westbrook to be the stars to win while the Warriors proved when Curry sat out a few games in the postseason that they can win with other players leading the charge.

And with Curry leading the way with his 30-plus points per game average that hasn’t dipped too much in the playoffs against much stiffer competition, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a team winning a best-of-seven series.

Especially not when Klay Thompson is exploding in the playoffs like he is, averaging nearly 26 points per game and keeping a 45.2 three-point field goal percentage.

Another player the Warriors can really count on is Andre Iguodala, who was named last year’s finals MVP. In the postseason alone, Iguodala has made over a 48-percent of his shots. The 32-year-old does whatever it takes to get his team to the top, and showed that characteristic especially in Game 2 when he made a layup after falling to the ground. He’s just plain unstoppable.

Draymond Green brings yet another huge contribution to the Warriors. In the last 10 games Green has made more than half his field goals and made half of his three’s against the Thunder in Game 2. Don’t expect to see too much less from him as the series continues.

With the above and players like Andrew Bogut, Shaun Livingston and Harrison Barnes as top role players, it is not very likely that the Thunder will clinch the series and move on in the finals.

But nobody expected the Thunder to beat the Spurs either, especially not in six games. This is really the Thunder’s last chance to win with Durant and Westbrook. It seems like it will take a miracle (or a championship) to keep Durant in town this offseason as he hits free agency. And without Durant, Westbrook will probably search for a bigger market to play in when he hits free agency a little down the line.

So while the Thunder do need their two stars to play at an elite level in order to pull the upset over the Warriors, who knows what that little extra fire and urgency could lead them to. It’s no longer the Warriors and everybody else. The Thunder are right there with them in the Western Conference.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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