Don't look now, but Oklahoma City is starting to look like the team we all thought they could be before the season started.
There has been quite a few surprises to the season, both negative and positive. Although, a lot of the negatives are starting to turn into positives.
At the start of the season, Kevin Durant tried to make every shot attempt a Sportscenter highlight and make the shot as difficult as possible. James Harden passed up every shot opportunity and looked to have absolutely zero confidence. Thabo Sefolosha was thinking he was Kobe Bryant and was shooting the ball far too much.
Although on the positive side, Russell Westbrook turned into an animal and threw himself into MVP consideration. Jeff Green was playing like he wants to stay in Oklahoma City, and is finally being aggressive at going towards the basket. Serge Ibaka has learned some offensive moves and has one of the more consistent mid-range jumpers on the team.
Even Eric Maynor got noticeably better in the off-season and learned a tear-drop shot near the basket.
In short, the team from the beginning looked to have only half of its players actually looking like they came to play.
But one thing was certain for the team as a whole. They gave little to no effort on defense.
The one thing that Oklahoma City has built a reputation on started to get away from them and they tried to outscore every team in a shoot-out.
However, things are finally starting to turn for the better.
Durant is looking like he's found his stroke. He's not forcing shots anymore and is consistently looking for mismatches in the post.
Harden looks to have made an absolute turn around in as little as two weeks. He's starting to find some confidence, which is all he's been lacking since he joined the team. If that nasty throw-down on J.J. Hickson is any indication of his performance in the near future, Thunder fans are in for a treat.
As for the team as a whole, they have started to get back to their strength. They are giving effort on every defensive possession.
Ever since Durant and Green were benched last week they have played defense like their life depended on it.
So fear not, Thunder fans. Oklahoma City was never in a bad spot before, but they're now looking to be one of the upper-tier in the West.
Cross your fingers for continued improvement.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!