|NBA Awards Races|
As Kevin Durant plays his way into the MVP conversation and Thunder coach Scott Brooks crafts this team into a legit defensive unit, the West playoff race has some new blood -- and sooner than expected. Talented, long and dotted with eight first-round draft picks, the Thunder promise to be a beast come spring.
With Durant already in the fold, GM Sam Presti, who is known for his sharp eye for talent, will set his sights on acquiring key support players this summer. So while the Thunder have been one of the biggest surprises this season, the playoffs are sure to run through Oklahoma City next year. Note to Western teams: Watch out.
(All stats are through Feb. 16.)