Why the NBA Needs OKC/Boston in June

The Game

The Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off one of the more heartbreaking losses of the season. In a total back and forth thriller that basically ended with Russell Westbrook dribbling the ball off of his foot, Celtics/Thunder proved to be one of the best NBA games of the season. This is hopeful to a league which has taken slack for the lack of turnover. Whether you were a Warriors/Cavs lover or hater, it's safe to say that those days are over. Cleveland will be in an obvious rebuilding stage for years to come. Golden State seems to be somewhat on their way out, with heavy rumors of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson possibly departing in the summer. What the NBA needs so desperately is 2 new teams playing each other into June.

The highlight in the sports world over Super Bowl weekend surprisingly didn't come from Atlanta, but Boston itself. No, not the Patriots parade. Or crazy Boston parties. Celtics/Thunder was the best NBA game to date this season. And unlike the Super Bowl, these were 2 teams who actually remembered how to score. In a game which you just didn't want it to end, Russell Westbrook provided the gaffe that settled it. "In a late game like that, I've just got to take care of the ball," Westbrook told ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "That's on me." Still, It's hard to blame a guy who posted a 22-16-12 stat-line.

Why OKC will have a chance

The play of Russell Westbrook is well documented. Mr. Triple Double himself is still averaging that line for the season. But maybe the surprise for the Thunder this season is Paul George. Averaging nearly 28 PPG, 8 RBG and 4 AST per game, while playing his usual lock-down defense, Paul George should be in the MVP race just as much as Houston's James Harden. George had 37 in 39 minutes on Sunday, and had the ball been in his hands, he just may have hit the game winner himself, like he did against Philly earlier in the year.

In a Western Conference that's so hard to figure out this season, OKC seems to be in a great position. The Warriors will be the Warriors. There's no doubt about that. Denver is extremely unproven, and it is unclear whether they can keep this up. Portland, San Antonio, and Houston round out the contenders. Portland has the same team every year and always struggles. San Antonio is finally finding their rhythm, but have an extremely difficult schedule to round out the season. Houston has proven to be a one man team, as they rely on Harden way too much. The Lakers are a mess right now without LeBron, and even with the King, they don't have enough to compete in the Wild West.


The NBA needs not just one, but two new teams playing each other in June. The Celtics/Thunder match up this past weekend offered a glimpse of what the Finals could look like. While it feels that both conferences are wide open for the first time in forever, the playoffs should be the most exciting we've seen in awhile. Russell Westbrook has only had one measly chance at the trophy and that was years ago, against a LeBron-led Miami team that had no chance in being denied. As the playoff picture starts to take shape, the real contenders start to emerge. The NBA needs OKC vs Boston, and this past weekend showed us why.

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