Now that the opening of training camp is less than a month away, I thought this would be a good time to start my 2016 Thunder Wish List. After a frustrating 2014-15 campaign my priorities have changed somewhat. For the first time in a long time, winning a championship is not at the top:
2016 THUNDER WISH LIST
- An Injury Free Season. I have rooted for teams that had their share of injuries but nothing like what the Thunder experienced last season. A promising season deteriorated into a morbid survival drill and the only silver lining to come out of it was the added experience our young players received while desperately trying to hold down the fort.
- Billy Donovan lives up to expectations. The man's college credentials are impressive and his character is beyond reproach, but can he successfully transition to the NBA level? Early indications are encouraging, but the basketball gods could not have found a tougher test of Donovan's metal than an opening night date with the mighty Spurs.
- Enes Kanter steps up his defensive game. I know, I know, I know..... he is the most gifted low post scorer that Oklahoma City has ever had, but the man gives up lay-up like they are free samples at the grocery store. That has to change.... period. I'm not expecting a defensive juggernaut, but a paper cutout shows more of a defensive pulse than Kanter. No one will ever convince me that Kanter has NEVER had a coach try to teach him how to play defense and he will have another one attempt the impossible dream again this season. Good luck Billy.
- I want these guys to have fun. Basketball is a game. NBA Basketball is a big money game, but a game nonetheless and games should be fun, that is why we "play" them. With fun comes joy, and with joy comes winning and vice versa. I want to see these guys play hard, but I miss the joy.
- Win a championship. It's time.
I also have all sorts of sub-wishes like hoping Dion Waiters figures out how transform his game to work in a team setting and that Cameron Payne doesn't get freight trained, but these are my top five. I truly feel if we can stay healthy and Billy Donovan lives up to the expectations and gets Kanter to play some "D" and the guys bring the fun back into their game that I will get my fifth wish. FINALLY!