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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-04-05

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-04-05

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-04-05
If the Thunder are viewed in many circles as a Trail Blazers starter kit, there's good reason. Oklahoma City has much in common with Portland, which has rebuilt its roster in recent years and is headed to the playoffs.

"Very similar," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "They've made some good choices in players they've drafted."

The Thunder's nucleus of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green compares favorably with Portland's young talent. Oklahoma City is also quietly adding complementary pieces, such as Nenad Krstic, Thabo Sefolosha and newly-acquired Shaun Livingston.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti has also stockpiled a number of draft picks over the next few years, and the franchise heads into the offseason with significant cap space.

"The position Sam Presti has put them in is phenomenal," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said recently. "With draft picks he's acquired, the monetary system he's developed, a good mix of youth, they're in a wonderful position to grow just like Portland has grown the past two or three years. Oklahoma City is on a great track."

BLAZERS 107, THUNDER 72: Oklahoma City was never in this one, getting plastered at home Friday night by Portland. The Thunder (21-54) trailed by double-figures early and never challenged three nights after upsetting San Antonio. Kevin Durant led the anemic Oklahoma City attack with just 13 points. Jeff Green scored 12 and Shaun Livingston had 10 points in his Thunder debut off the bench. Oklahoma City shot only 36.5 percent.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 35 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Brandon Roy scored 15, and Steve Blake had 14 points and 10 assists.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 5, 2009


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