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The Unstoppable OKC Thunder?

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The Unstoppable OKC Thunder?

Franky Y. and Antonio P.

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Over the 2017 offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association, or NBA, have assembled a super team. Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, Patrick Patterson, Raymond Felton, Kyle Singler, Josh Huestis, and Nick Collison are all in this group of this future super team. Even with a Big 3 and a supporting cast, they are still looked down at by the Warriors’ Big 4 of All-Stars: Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry. Just how good is the Thunder’s Big 3?

 

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook III was born on November 12, 1988, in Long Beach, California and was 3-star recruit going to college according to 247sports and Rivals.com. He committed to the UCLA Bruins but was not very heavily scouted. In his first year, he spent most of his time behind Darren Collison. After Collision was injured in 2007-2008, Westbrook took over and earned Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Pac-10 Third Team Honors. Westbrook decided to drop out of college before his other two years, and was declared for the 2008 NBA Draft, where he was selected 4th behind Derrick Rose (Picked 1st by the Chicago Bulls), Michael Beasley (Selected 2nd by the Miami Heat), and O.J. Mayo (Drafted 3rd by the Minnesota Timberwolves, then had his draft rights swapped to the Memphis Grizzlies). Russell Westbrook was selected by the Seattle Supersonics (Six days later relocated to become the Oklahoma City Thunder). In His first NBA season, he averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals without being a full-time starter. He finished 4th in the 2008-2009 Rookie of the Year voting with Derrick Rose taking home the trophy. In Just his second season Westbrook was named the season starter averaging 16.1 points, 8.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals on the season and the Thunder finished 50-32 but was eliminated by the 2010 Champion, Los Angeles Lakers. Just this past season Russell put up numbers similar to All-Time Great and MVP Oscar Robertson who averaged a triple-double with 12.5 Rebounds Per Game (RPG), 11.4 Assists Per Game (APG), and 30.8 Points Per Game (PPG). Russell averaged 10.7 RPG, 10.4 APG, and 31 PPG. These numbers may not seem as good as Robertson’s but they live in two different eras, and Robertson set the record of triple-doubles in a season within a league that every team relied on one player. Russell was the first one to beat Robertson’s 41 seasons triple-doubles record last year with 42 in the regular season, ending on a buzzer beater from 36 feet out to seal the Denver Nuggets from making a playoff push. Westbrook signed an extension with the Thunder and is locked in through the 2022-2023 season. A valuable piece to say the least.

 

Paul George

Fresh off 23.7 PPG, 3.3 APG, and 7.0 RPG and the “Sole” provider for the Indiana Pacers. Drafted 10th in the 2010 NBA Draft Paul was drafted after hometown hero and Number 1 pick John Wall for our Washington Wizards, Evan Turner went second then Derrick Favors third, Wesley Johnson fourth, Demarcus Cousins fifth, Ekpe Udoh, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Gordon Hayward. In 2014 he suffered one of the most GRUESOME injuries in NBA history. Paul could have been in the talk for worst non-All-NBA selection as he didn’t make the cut in 2017. He was traded to the Thunder for the single reason that he was likely going to leave the next season for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was traded for Domantis Sabonis and Victor Oladipo. This season with the Pacer’s Oladipo has averaged 22.8 PPG. Couple pieces for a SUPERSTAR! Paul is embracing his role and has even further stepped up his defensive play, but trade talks have emerged again as the Thunder are currently placed 9th in the Western Conference.

 

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony was just traded to the 2017-2018 Oklahoma City Thunder.  Drafted in 2003 by the Denver Nuggets,  Melo has shown impressive talent for 14 years in the league.  Anthony attended Towson Catholic High school and Oak Hill Academy before playing College Basketball at Syracuse.  At Syracuse, in his freshman year, Carmelo led the Orangemen to their first and only national championship.  He was named NCAA Most Outstanding Player.  The “One and Done” Anthony then entered the draft. On June 25, 2003, Carmelo Kyam Anthony was drafted 3rd overall by the Denver Nuggets. Carmelo was drafted right after the 1st overall Lebron James.  While playing for Denver, he led the Nuggets to the playoffs every year from 2004 to 2010, winning two division titles in that span.  In 2009, he led the Nuggets to their first conference finals since 1985.  Then, in 2011, he was signed by the Nuggets to be immediately traded to the New York Knicks. His deal 24.56 million dollars, and his trade, just prior to the NBA Trade Deadline.   He played for them for 7 years, winning many awards such as NBA scoring champion in 2013, and being named a 10x NBA All-star. On January 24, 2014, against the Charlotte Bobcats, Anthony set the Madison Square Garden and Knicks’ single-game scoring record with a career-high 62 points.  Carmelo is one of 6 NBA players to record at least 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 3-point field goals. In fact, these numbers are rising.  A definite future hall-of-famer. He’s now playing side by side with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, raking up the league. Finally, Carmelo Anthony has had an amazing career and it looks like it’s slowing down. He’s coming to the age where his career is coming to an end.  Carmelo Anthony will be, and always will be one of the greatest NBA Players of all time.

You’ve now heard of all of these amazing players. The lineup is star-studded. Where will the Big 3 take them? Will it get split? Or will the storm start and the Thunder Strike?

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