There was a point in early April when the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets were proving to be the best teams in the Western Conference since the All-Star break. Then, over the course of six days, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Nuggets twice and beat the Lakers in L.A.
In what was expected to be a great series, the Thunder have built a 2-0 lead over the Nuggets as the series moves to Denver for Saturday’s Game 3 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Best records since March 1st (including postseason)
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
This may still be a great series, and no one should count Denver out. Raymond Felton certainly isn’t, as Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post tells it…
Rather than curl in the fetal position after being pummeled throughout an embarrassing 106-89 loss to Oklahoma City, Nuggets guard Raymond Felton came out swinging.
Denver finds itself down 2-0 in this best-of-seven series NBA playoff series. All looks grim. But want to make Felton angry? Mention the possibility of a sweep by the Thunder.
“We’re definitely coming back to Oklahoma City,” Felton insisted Wednesday, his dare-me feistiness in sharp contrast to the sullen atmosphere of the visitors dressing room.
“We’re going home to bounce back, get these next two games, one game at a time, and make it a series. We’ll get our confidence back and be better prepared when we come back here. We’re definitely coming back.”
Those are some strong words from Felton, and he has every right to believe in his squad. But looking from the outside, one can’t help but think that the Thunder are just the better team right now.
Before the All-Star break, the Thunder had the fifth-best offense in the league. Then they traded for Kendrick Perkins and their defense improved without their offense suffering at all. With that in mind, you can certainly argue that Oklahoma City is the best team in the Western Conference.