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Thunder Players And Coaches Reflect On The Past Season

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Oklahoma City Thunder players and coaches took time before starting the offseason to reflect on a successful season. Oklahoma City Thunder players and coaches took time before starting the offseason to reflect on a successful season.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma City Thunder was on the cusp of winning its first NBA Championship since moving from Seattle, however LeBron James and the Miami Heat had other ideas for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. However, the Thunder has come a long way from a 23-59 season in 2009 and can take away lessons from a highly-successful run in 2011-2012.

"[The season] was a great success for us; we got better as a team. We need to learn from what we did in the previous year, and I think we did that this year," Russell Westbrook said. "After losing to Dallas, we came back this year we knew we needed that extra rebound and extra tip. This year we learned a lot."

Oklahoma City has continued to improve each season, moving from a first-round exit three seasons ago to an appearance in the NBA Finals last season. Although the team has made clear progress, they also must realize that they cannot rest on their laurels moving forward.

"It is a great experience, the last three playoff runs we've had, but unlike American Idol we don't get to travel with the winning team," Scott Brooks said. "We have to move on. We have to realize that this season is separate than last season."

Although the Thunder players and coaches realize that they have to work to make it back to the finals, players would enjoy developing a long-time rivalry with the Miami Heat.

"I would enjoy [developing a rivalry with LeBron James and the Miami Heat], I think that would be fun to make that Heat/Thunder rivalry," Kevin Durant said. "I enjoy competing against LeBron James. It's a fun rivalry, he and I are friends, but it's a fun rivalry."

Oklahoma City's season produced many memorable moments and games, from numerous Durant game-winning shots to dominating performances against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.

However, in player's minds those aren't the most memorable parts of the season.

"The best part of the season was traveling on the road with the guys, traveling with them, coming to practice every day. Those are the best memories I've had since coming into the league," Durant said. "The games are always going to be there, but you can't get back the memories you had in the locker room."

As for what to work on moving forward, the Oklahoma City head coach has plenty in mind for his players in the offseason.

"It's a long list; I throw a lot of things at the guys," Brooks said. "I think we have players that can improve in every area of the game, and then we have guys that can focus on one or two areas of the game."

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