NBA

OKC Thunder will struggle to get a good seed despite Kevin Durant back

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One team will continue to head in the wrong direction. The other is about to make its run.

The Philadelphia 76ers are downright awful, we know that. But the interesting story of the 2014-15 NBA regular season will be how long it will take the Oklahoma City Thunder to climb out of the rut they are in and how much ground they will ultimately gain.

Saturday's 103-91 Thunder (6-13) win over the 76ers (1-18) was just the latest example. Russell Westbrook, now healthy and fully fit, led the way for the Thunder with 27 points.

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What's wrong with Durant?

Kevin Durant is an incredible scorer but, coming off his injury, he had a bad game and barely scored 10 points. That was just an anomaly, not something to worry about yet at this point.

''He's not going to have 30 points every night,'' Thunder coach Scott Brooks told AP. ''What you see now is a player who hasn't played in six or seven weeks. He's going to continue to improve and the rhythm is going to come back around.''

It's rust, rust that won't last. Durant hasn't lost anything and neither have the Thunder, besides those 13 games this year.

'I'm just trying to adjust,'' Durant said. ''Certain things I'm not used to. I'm just trying to adjust, be aggressive, play my game - attack at certain times but also play off my teammates and get them involved as well.''

Is 13 losses difficult to overcome?

If the Thunder want to be a top seed, then yes, it will be tough to make up ground considering the Spurs only lost 20 games all year last year and Oklahoma City had 23 losses. In essence, if they want to host a first-round series they won't be able to lose many more than 13 more games the rest of the season, with is only 23 percent over.

It stands to reason that it will be difficult for Oklahoma City to attain that, considering how high the level of play is in the Western Conference right now.

So what will they do?

The most likely result for the Thunder would be to see the team finish with around 30 losses and 52 wins in the regular season.

The past two seasons, that would have put them as the sixth seed in the West. The Thunder had another very winnable game scheduled at Detroit on Sunday.

Now, they need to start their run.

Topics:
NBA
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Philadelphia Sixers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference

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