He's also carrying the weight of the franchise on his still narrow shoulders.
"My teammates always give me confidence and lean on me in tough times," Kevin Durant said, "so I've got to be strong."
--Several Thunder players spent a good chunk of the offseason representing their countries. The trio of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook were all invited to participate in USA Basketball men's national minicamp in Las Vegas this past July.
Nenad Krstic (Serbia) and Thabo Sefolosha (Switzerland) spent the summer months at the 2009 EuroBasket Championships held in Poland. While Sefolosha and Switzerland participated in the Division B bracket, Krstic helped lead the Serbia team to the championship game versus Spain in the upper Division A bracket.
In nine EuroBasket contests, Krstic posted averages of 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 23.4 minutes per game. Meanwhile, Sefolosha played in four games and averaged 15.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 37.3 minutes.
MAIN REASON THUNDER CAN WIN: Durant's supporting cast takes another quantum step in their development... GM Presti lands another stud, perhaps using the draft picks stockpiled and team's low payroll to pull off a one-sided deal.
MAIN REASON THUNDER CAN LOSE: Foes begin to take the Thunder more seriously by focusing on shutting down Durant or his teammates ... Team is just not ready to win yet.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We know in order to be a very special team in the league you have to bring effort every game on that end of the floor. It's not a surprise. You defend, you put yourself in a position to win games, and that's our focus." -- Coach Scott Brooks, on improving.