Can the same be said now?
Although there is still a large contingent of people who would gladly take the Heat duo time and time again over the young Thunder stars, the question of which combination packs the more potent punch is well worth asking.
Here are the comparisons of what each pairing has done this season:
Durant: 27.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.1 blocks, 50.2 percent shooting
Westbrook: 24.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 47.4 percent shooting
Wade: 22.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.4 blocks, 50.3 percent shooting
James: 26.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks, 53.7 percent shooting
As we can see, the production between each duo is remarkably similar.
However, this is the Thunder's time to shine.
Durant and Westbrook have been absolutely balling since the All-Star break, and there is no reason to think that is going to change at any point in the near future.
Coming into the Eastern Conference showdown, Oklahoma City sits at a pristine 40-13 record, the second-best mark in the league behind the Chicago Bulls. While Miami's 38-14 record is certainly nothing to scoff at, the team has come out flat in some meaningful games of late and that has prompted concern.
There is a changing of the guard in the league, and we're going to see it unfold on Wednesday. Durant and Westbrook, each just 23 years old, are looking to knock off James, 27 and Wade, 30, for the top pairing around the NBA.
Last time these two teams squared off, the Thunder absolutely smoked the Heat up and down the floor for the entire 48 minutes.
The MVP race may be between James and Durant at this point, but Oklahoma City has a distinct edge when it comes to which team boasts the more desirable duo. Look for the two kids who had so many doubters to step up when the lights are brightest and their team needs them to deliver.
That's just what they do.
Durant and Westbrook will continue to lead by example for a Thunder squad that has quieted all of its previous doubters in emphatic fashion.
Durant and Westbrook have arrived on the game's biggest stage, and they're looking more than capable of living up to the hype.
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