Thunder players were in no mood to talk about moral victories or getting further in the playoffs than anyone could have reasonably predicted. They came into the playoffs with a goal of winning a title, and Oklahoma City finished a round short of the NBA Finals.
Getting to the Western Conference finals and falling to the more experienced Dallas Mavericks in five contested games does bode well for the future of the franchise. What exactly did the Thunder learn?
"Just how tough we are," Russell Westbrook said. "We stuck together, and most of the time it didn't go our way, but we stuck together, and that shows something to us as a team."
The Thunder didn't roll over in Game 5, leading by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter before being nipped in the end.
"I knew our guys would leave everything they had on the floor, and that's what they do," coach Scott Brooks said. "That's how they're wired. That's how they're built. They love the game. The respect what the game is about. They respect what we have to go through as an organization, as a team, and they work through it every single day."
MAVERICKS 100, THUNDER 96: Oklahoma City was up by eight points in the fourth quarter before watching Dallas rally again. The Thunder lost despite outrebounding and outshooting the Mavericks. Russell Westbrook scored 31, but Kevin Durant (23 points) struggled again to get good looks.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.