Are the Oklahoma City Thunder a Legit Playoff Contender?

Joe BendiezContributor INovember 9, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a shot over Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 105-98.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

For a less than average team, beating the Sacramento Kings is nothing to brag about.  However, when you beat the Pistons on a Friday night on the road, it certainly shows that you have some spark.

The Oklahoma City Thunder didn't get their third win of the season until their 27th game last year. It's not even two weeks into the season, and the Thunder have already reached that mark. Is it time to throw away the "Thunder suck" comments?

Now give Orlando somewhat of a break, but even without Vince Carter, you're suppose to beat a team that had the third pick in the draft last year

Coach Brooks, and the young OKC squad, blew out the Magic, 102-74. The Thunder were 57 percent from the floor, while the Magic shot a mediocre 37 percent from the floor on Sunday night.

Kevin Durant led the way with 28 points, and behind him was Russell Westbrook with 17.  The Thunder were on fire going into the second half, and outscored the Magic, 26-13.

Another big key in this game that you won't see too often from the Magic, the Thunder out rebounded Dwight Howard, and Orlando 45-30. Howard had only seven on the night, and that truly hurt the Magic.

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Usually the team who can crash the boards will win the game nine-out-of-10 times. It also helps if you can move the ball around, and successfully get shots to fall for you.

Now this win is really eye opening. It shows what the Thunder can do.

Is it seriously time to put them up their with the rest of the West playoff contenders? It's only six games, but this is a vast improvement, and they beat two legit East contenders, and took the defending champions into overtime.

With Durantula at the head, the Thunder can certainly score. Thabo Sefoelosha, and Nenad Krstic, provide some good defense on the perimeter, and in the paint.

If Oklahoma City can get another win over a top ranked team, then why not put them in to post game talk? So far it's not been too much of a struggle for the newest NBA franchise, and their home crowd is one of their secret weapons.

They can easily go 3-1 in their next four games with the Kings, Clippers twice, and the Spurs. The Spurs game is the only real challenge.

Leave your thoughts on the Thunder in the comment section, and whether they belong in playoff talk.

The way the season is going, and if they utilize their home court, the Thunder could go .500, or higher.

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