Oklahoma City Thunder: Why the Future Still Looks Bright in OKC

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IJune 25, 2012

Durant and Westbrook.
Durant and Westbrook.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder may have come short of an NBA championship this year, but they shouldn't hang their heads as the future remains bright.

A franchise that has been able to build off its recent success and has two great cornerstone players will be a championship contender for several years to come.

The Thunder’s coaching (including head coach Scott Brooks) and front office (GM Sam Presti and the like) staff have been under the radar, but their team’s success this season will no doubt earn them an enormous amount of respect around the league.

OKC's run in the postseason can be viewed as a learning process; by watching the Miami Heat, they know what needs to happen in order to prevail on the game’s biggest stage.

Led by the athleticism and unique leadership abilities of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder should be a team that everyone in the Western Conference will have to go through in order to make the finals. 

While only in his fifth NBA season, Kevin Durant averaged 28.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during the playoffs, while Westbrook (in his fourth season) averaged 23.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Both players will only get better as time goes on, and the experience they gained in this year's postseason will make the Thunder an even scarier force to deal with in the NBA.