NBA Podcast: Complete 2012-2013 Season Preview for Oklahoma City Thunder

Joel C. CordesNBA Associate EditorAugust 10, 2012

They'll be back.
They'll be back.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder fell one step short of an NBA championship, but natural maturation alone means they'll be in the hunt again in 2012-2013.

In this episode of Basketball by Association, NBA assistant editors Ethan Norof and Joel C. Cordes break down all the key roster losses and additions, discuss the biggest storylines to watch and set realistic expectations for the Thunder.

(If the embedded player fails to load, you can find the episode here.)

As Western Conference foes like the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Dallas Mavericks all made big offseason splashes, Oklahoma City was conspicuously quiet on the free-agency front. 

Will their "Big Four" of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Serge Ibaka all advance their games enough to keep pace with the big free-agency and trade spenders?

Who will step up as secondary options on a team whose bench failed to score enough points around their starters? Can youngsters like Eric Maynor, Daequan Cook, Reggie Jackson, Perry Jones III and Cole Aldridge step up into the rotation?

What has Scott Brooks learned after stubbornly refusing to alter his rotation or playing-time pattern last season? Will he be overreliant on Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha next year when Nick Collison and others might provide more timely help?

Finally, will this team's lack of a true low-post scoring threat be their not-so-secret Achilles' heal?

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