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Thunder win four in a row to get to NBA finals

After sweeping the Jazz and Clippers and seeming like they’d easily win another championship, the San Antonio Spurs lost in six games to the Oklahoma City Thunder. I just want to say that I really thought the Spurs would win that series in five games. I clearly don’t know much about basketball…

I’m glad to see that a small-market team like the Thunder can make it to the finals, and will likely win an NBA championship. It’s good for the league, and makes a life-long Jazz fan like myself hopeful. However, a lot of things had to fall their way to get where they ended up. The fact that they were able to land Kevin Durant with the number three pick is the biggest. The Jazz had the number three pick last year and got Enes Kanter. Not only do you need high draft picks, but you need them in the right draft and you need the teams above you to make bad choices. The Thunder got that, the Jazz didn’t.

If the Thunder to win a championship this year, it will be huge because it will increase the chances that Durant stays with them for his entire career. They’ll pay him the most money, and he’ll have no need to leave to chase a ring. And you have to credit the Thunder’s front office for finding good role-players to surround Durant with. Luck can only take you so far, but it is a necessary component for a small-market team to reach the level of an elite NBA team.

The Jazz had it many years ago when they drafted Mark Eaton deep in the draft, and then landed Stockton, and then Malone, in the mid-to-late first round. They had it again a few years ago when they drafted Deron Williams and eventually made it to the western conference finals. But Deron Williams is not Kevin Durant, and he could only take the Jazz so far, especially when he didn’t have a great supporting case. To land a player like Kevin Durant, Lebron James, or Michael Jordan is not something you can plan for. But if your team’s lucky enough to get a player like that, enjoy the ride.

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