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OKC Thunder Team Overview

2011-12 record: 47-19

First place, Northwest Division

Lost in NBA Finals to Miami

DRAFT PICKS:

Round: 1

Areas of Strength:
Star power, youth, athleticism and chemistry. With a core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka having led the Thunder to back-to-back trips to the Western Conference finals, this franchise is obviously in good hands going forward. They have the three-time scoring champ in Durant, two All-NBA players in Durant and Westbrook, the best reserve in the game in Harden and the best shot blocker and one of the best defenders in Ibaka. The fact that they are all 24 or younger and love playing together makes this crew even more impressive.

Needs Work:
As loaded as they are just about everywhere else, the Thunder lack the stretch four with the ability to play pick and roll with Westbrook. They need someone with the ability to face the basket and knock down shots as well play solid low-post defense. Having another big man option for the matchups Kendrick Perkins and Ibaka struggle against would help an already solid squad.

Two Stats That Matter:
103.1 -- The third highest-scoring team in the league, the Thunder have no problems scoring. They have as much offensive firepower in three players as any "Big 3" in the league.

30 -- The Thunder's ranked dead last in the league in assists (18.5), the one casualty of working almost exclusively through Durant, Westbrook and Harden.

The Way To Go:
The Thunder have done some of the finest work in recent draft history, collecting each member of their core four through their own evaluations. So whatever direction Sam Presti decides to go in is likely to be the right one. But the one thing they need this time around, that stretch four, might not be available where they are picking.

2011-12 Team Stats:
Offensive: 103.1 (3rd)
Defensive: 96.9 (17th)

Under Contract:
F: Kevin Durant
G: Russell Westbrook
G: James Harden
F: Serge Ibaka
C: Kendrick Perkins
G: Thabo Sefolosha
F/C: Nick Collison
G: Daequan Cook
G: Eric Maynor
G: Reggie Jackson
F: Lazar Hayward
C: Cole Aldrich

Free Agents:
C: Nazr Mohammed (unrestricted)
G: Derek Fisher (unrestricted)
G: Royal Ivey (unrestricted)

Recent Draft Picks
2011: Reggie Jackson (24)
2010: Eric Bledsoe (18), Craig Brackins (21), Quincy Pondexter (26), Magnum Rolle (51)
2009: James Harden (3), Rodrigue Beaubois (25)
2008: Russell Westbrook (4), Serge Ibaka (24), Walter Sharpe (32), Trent Plaisted (46), DeVon Hardin (50), Sasha Kaun (56)
2007: Kevin Durant (2), Carl Landry (21), Glen Davis (35)
2006: Mouhammed Sene (10), Denham Brown (40), Yoham Halperin (53)

-- Sekou Smith

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