STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
As the Thunder shockingly found out, it's one thing to make the NBA Finals, but quite another to win the league title. They swaggered into the championship round last season, and even won Game 1, only to get steamrolled by an all-around superior Miami Heat. While Kevin Durant provided a legitimate league MVP challenge in the regular season, Lebron James showed him in the Finals what it means to be a truly dominant player rather than merely a great scorer.
Oklahoma City is counting on that experience being the difference this year, as its only noteworthy offseason move was re-signing Serge Ibaka to a long-term contract, significant because it means OKC probably can't re-sign James Harden. Don't put it past general manager Sam Presti to cook up some creative math, but the max deal that Harden wants would vault the team into luxury tax territory with Russell Westbroo
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