Those lessons learned should make the Thunder’s foundation even sturdier as they look forward to another season.
While Oklahoma City has always been a high scoring, flashy and exciting team, the players and coaches have always talked about see themselves as a blue-collar, lunch-pail team. Now, they understand even more how critical that kind of identity is to gaining ultimate success.
“Every possession is important,” Durant said. “We need everybody to win. It’s much more than scoring points. It’s getting rebounds, getting assists. It’s the hustle points. It’s all about getting down on the floor and keeping this possession alive. Are you going to sacrifice your body for your team?”
Kendrick Perkins wants the team to remember what felt like walking off the court in Miami as the second best team in the NBA.
“I think we all understand what it takes to get there,” Perkins said. “A lot of it was we got caught up with just being in the finals and quit playing basketball. I think a lot of guys on our team grew up last year in a lot of ways.
“We don’t feel like we just want to be in the playoffs and win games. At the end of the day, we are trying to raise a banner or a few.”
Michael KinneyFollow me @email@example.com