5 Reasons the Thunder Are Still the Team to Beat in the Western Conference

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5 Reasons the Thunder Are Still the Team to Beat in the Western Conference
Brett Deering/Getty Images
As long as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are on the team, the Thunder will always be championship contenders.

Could somebody please explain why the Oklahoma City Thunder have suddenly been written off? Because they're still here. They're still the team to beat in the Western Conference.

Yes, the James Harden trade hurt them, but does that mean that they're already down and out? That they've suddenly become “fringe contenders”—long shots just to return to the NBA Finals?

Absolutely not. Not while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are scoring on everyone and their mother, and not while Serge Ibaka is volleyball-spiking shots into the 28th row.

Oklahoma City lost one of the league's best glue guys and its best young shooting guard. But the Thunder didn't lose their place among the NBA elite, or the ability to potentially repeat as Western Conference champions. Here's why.

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