Thunder Basketball: This season was one of "firsts" for OKC
It's easy to fall victim to the moment - maybe you make rash decisions, maybe you think the sky is falling - when in reality, things are going to be just fine. Will the Oklahoma City win an NBA Championship? I don't know - but what I do know, is this year's Thunder team was the 5th youngest in the NBA. Because of that youth, and what's been called a "season of firsts" for many on the roster - they weren't expected to do much - so being the six seed in the Western Conference can be considered a "good" season.
"A lot of guys, this was their first playoff experience," probable NBA MVP Russell Westbrook said on Wednesday. "We faced different situations this year, with trades and a lot of different things. So, I'm excited to be able to go through the summer with them - a full summer of them improving their games."
"It was a season of firsts," Thunder head coach Billy Donovan added. "I think it was a first for Russell (Westbrook), having to lead a new group of guys. I think it was a season of firsts for Steven (Adams) taking over a more prominent role. I think it was a season of firsts for Victor (Oladipo) coming into a new organization - the same goes for Doug (McDermott) and Taj (Gibson). There were a lot of 'seasons of firsts'. "
The conventional thinking is that - because OKC is so young - they'll continue to improve, and that next year's Thunder team should be better than this season's. Donovan cautioned against that line of thinking.
"I don't believe that because you're a year older, that you become a year better," Donovan said. "I think you have to put in perspective what you learned, and be exactly on point about what you learned, and then what you've learned has to make you better. To take the route of 'well, we've been to the playoffs - we know what to expect now', and just assume that you're going to get better... I don't think it ever works like that."