Reigning NBA MVP, Kevin Durant has undergone successful foot surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks of the season. This comes as a huge blow to the Oklahoma City Thunder as they try to rebound from losing in the Western Conference Finals last year against the San Antonio Spurs. After failing to land any marquee free-agents this off-season, including Pau Gasol who signed with the Bulls, critics are skeptical of the Thunder’s potential as the Western Conference is loaded with high caliber teams like the Clippers, Spurs, Warriors, and Suns. The pressure is now on teammate Russell Westbrook who will have to carry the team due to Durant’s injury. The Thunder will also rely more on Reggie Jackson to help Westbrook on the offensive end. This is difficult to ask from a player who hasn’t had much scoring success, averaging just eight points per game during his short career.
Now it’s Westbrook’s time to shine and show the world that he is not in Durant’s shadow. Russell Westbrook is on on the path to become an elite point guard and has the potential to reach MVP status.
Due to their experience and leadership, the Thunder will be a top four team in the Western Conference this year and will advance past the first round of the playoffs. Durant will return by late December or early January in time where the Thunder will need his superior basketball IQ. The Thunder open their season October 29th at Portland.