Despite the loss of James Harden and Kevin Martin, team boss talks the talk.
Despite suffering losses of excellent players in the past two seasons, Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti beleives the 2013-14 side can break the 60-win barrier.
The departure of James Harden a year ago was seen as the dismantling of the Thunder own ‘big three’ however statistics show the side actually became more efficient on the offensive end.
They scored 2.6 points more per 100 possessions and allowed 0.8 less per 100. They were a 60-win team, a better team than the year before, their playoffs just cut short by Russell Westbrook’s injury.
Kevin Martin, another wing shooter who filled in the role well left by Harden has also departed the team after accepting an offer from Minnesota.
And despite Westbook not being back to full playing duties Presti said there is enough talent there to be the top seed in the Western Division again, which is what a 60-win plus season would most likely produce.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to build on the success and strengths of last season, and we think we have an opportunity to do that,” Presti said.
“I think Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb have, really, almost pushed the standards higher for some of the younger players that will follow them in our program in the future,” Presti said.
“They’ve been incredibly diligent. The time they’ve put in and the quality of the work has been exceptional.”
Jackson stepped up when needed in the playoffs after Westbrook’s injury and could play a useful foil to Lamb, who was seen as a handy pick-up as he is a player of the future in a deal with Houston.