If you could win a championship on chemistry and team morale alone your new NBA champions would be the Oklahoma City Thunder. Proof of this would be the Thunder’s 120-111 victory over the Portland Trailblazers on Monday night.
Thunder fans have seen a successful duo before in the form of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, but this new duo consisting of Westbrook and Paul George is completely different. Evidence of this was there for the world to see against the Trailblazers. Westbrook recorded his 10th straight triple-double setting a new record eclipsing Wilt Chamberlin’s record of nine straight triple-doubles from the 1968 season. Westbrook broke the record by finishing the night with 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. The tenth assist came off a George three-pointer that had the entire Chesapeake arena off their feet showering their superhero with love and admiration celebrating his historic triple-double.
Then it was as if Westbrook’s triple-double spidey senses went off in his head as he knew George was one assist shy of his third career triple-double, first in his Oklahoma City days. Westbrook would pull George aside and inform the MVP and defensive player of the year candidate of his current situation. The duo would draw up a play that would get Westbrook a 24.4 percent three-point shooter for the season an open three-point shot, he would ultimately hit the shot completing a historic night and giving George his third career triple-double with a stat line of 47 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on 57.7 percent from the floor and 61.5 percent from three-point range on 8-of-13 shooting.
Last night was the type of night championship teams are built on. With Westbrook and George finishing off each others triple-doubles with three-pointers, Raymond Felton scoring 15 points on 60 percent shooting from both the floor and behind the arc after not suiting up for the Thunder in 20 odd games, and Deonte Burton throwing down the gauntlet to general manager Sam Presti to offer him a contract with the Thunder with a 18 point night to go along with three blocks in the absence of Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroder.
On every level, the Thunder are clicking and it starts at the top. Westbrook and George are leading the locker room together, it’s a partnership in every way both on the court and off. There are no questions of who is the alpha dog? Who get’s the final shot? Who gets the most shots? None of those questions have any place in this Oklahoma City Thunder locker room. There is a real brother hood growing and it’s feeding a OKC beast that is growing into something truly special led by Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Together every step of the way having eachothers backs at every turn.
Photo: Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder.