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When you have two of the league's top-five scorers on your team, your odds for making it far in the NBA are pretty good.
Last year was proof of it.
The Thunder's duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook eviscerated opposing defenses. When Westbrook's jumper was falling and Durant was getting his touches, their inside-outside onslaught was very hard to stop.
Although Westbrook's shot selection is at times questionable, there is no doubt that their lethal combination of offensive abilities make the Thunder a formidable force.
Westbrook's primary goal this season should be to establish himself as a playmaker.
Although the Thunder won without Westbrook passing much (they actually had a 29-8 record when he shot more than Durant), when Westbrook's dribble penetration opens up lanes for cutters or shooters, they are a whole new team.
If Westbrook can find a way to seamlessly blend his scoring prowess with a newfound penchant for passing more, the Thunder would be tremendously more effective—especially in halfcourt sets.
Despite their occasional stagnancy in slow-paced tempos, the Thunder were at their best when they upped the pace.
The Thunder averaged 16.2 fast-break points per game (fifth in the league) and were the fifth highest as far as fast-break efficiency.
Durant and Westbrook were both hard to stop if they were going full speed off of turnovers—whether it was a Westbrook dunk or a Durant three-pointer, they were a nightmare on the break. If they can learn to play at both paces with ease, they could essentially run or grind it out with anyone.
Interestingly enough, the Thunder had the lowest assist rate of any team in the league—right behind the Sacramento Kings who had a virtually identical rate of 17.32.
Considering you have two ball dominant scorers on one team, it's no surprise they will consume a majority of the shot attempts.
The Thunder also had the highest rate of turnovers last season, a stat that could be blamed on their two premier players. Both Durant and Westbrook were among the top 10 most turnover-prone players in the league—with 3.8 and 3.6 turnovers per game, respectively.
Despite these stats, the Thunder were still a dominant team (they were also the second most efficient team in the league as far as offense), but if their two stars improve upon their flaws in the passing game, they could be way more deadly as a contingent.
As long as their talented pair of scorers continues to cover up their faults with their brilliant offense, they're still going to have a lot of success as a unit.