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The Oklahoma City Thunder didn't take baby steps in improving over the years, they took giant steps in becoming a perennial contender.
After drafting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in back-to-back years, they have formed a duo that will be deadly for years to come.
While they showed some chemistry issues in the Western Conference Finals, that's to be expected from young players finding their spots on the team.
Durant won his second consecutive scoring title in 2011 and has improved in his team leadership skills as well.
His statistics have actually declined over the last few years, but that should just prove that the Thunder are becoming a well-balanced, complete team.
Westbrook has put his name in talks of best point guard in the NBA. While not being a traditional pass first point guard, Westbrook still averaged 8.2 assists while scoring 21.9.
Westbrook is capable of having his own team built around him, but instead should embrace playing with Durant.
With the NBA gaining more stars every year, odds are you will see many teams with stacked rosters, the Thunder could fall in that category.
James Harden also showed a ton of potential last year. In his second year in the league, Harden's role and workload increased for the young Thunder.
He brings good defensive intensity and an improving offensive game off the bench but could find himself in a starting role in 2012.
Serge Ibaka has also improved, becoming one of the best shot blockers in the NBA. He shows great leaping ability and is a defensive threat to any team.
This is a team with no glaring weaknesses, and if the Thunder remember to play great defense like during 2010 they can be the complete package.
If Oklahoma City's trend continues, it's only a matter of time before it is playing for a NBA title.
In my opinion, the time is now.