All week SB Nation’s Mike Prada spotlighted teams that were SO GOOD but could never win an NBA championship.
The 2011-12 team was stacked: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Derek Fisher, Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, Kendrick Perkins, and Thabo Sefolosha.
This young, talented team had it all going for them. The Larry O’Brien trophy was there’s for the taking. The “Big Four” were ready for glory, and they also had the leadership of 2x NBA Champion Fisher.
Also, Durant, Westbrook, and Harden were all MVPs.
Seriously, what could go wrong?
What went wrong was the Miami Heat had a guy by the name of LeBron James on their team.
The Heat went on to win the series in five games, and James won his first of three NBA championship titles.
Now, let’s talk about the 2015-16 team!
Man, did this team choke when it mattered most!
First, let’s talk about the positive.
Actually, I’ll let our former leader explain this one.
“I feel like the 2016 team had the most upside,” J.A. Sherman said. “They were well constructed, balanced everywhere, decent bench, and a perfect center in Steven Adams to match up against Golden State. The problem was they were a year away from really gelling under Billy Donovan, and that was always the risk with not moving on Scott Brooks sooner.”
From 2010 through 2016, the Thunder reached the Western Conference Finals four times. That is super impressive!
Throughout the playoffs, Durant and Westbrook were averaging 25 points per game and were the team to beat.
Ooh, even better!
Now, to the negative.
OKC was up 3-1 on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Championship, but the Warriors wanted the win more and came back to win the series 4-3.
Heck, OKC had a 13-point lead in Game 7, but the Warriors didn’t give up, and the Thunder lost 96-88.
Quite frankly, it was painful to watch.
But if you are a glutton for punishment, you can relieve Game 7 here.
Now, we want to hear from YOU! Which Thunder team do you think was the best team to never win a championship? Cast your vote below!
Which Thunder team was better: 2011-12 team or 2015-16 squad
This poll is closed