Not just a fluke

When the Oklahoma City Thunder managed to win Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, many dismissed it as a fluke. Oklahoma City must have just gotten lucky to win a game against the defending champions. The Warriors then managed to square the series at a game a piece and the Basketball world at large assumed it would be business as usual from then on. It's safe to say that what happened next, no one could have predicted, as the Thunder won the next two games to take a 3-1 series lead over the Warriors.


Let's take a moment to put this all into perspective. Throughout their historic regular season run this season, the Golden State Warriors won 73 out of 82 games, and yet, somehow, they've managed to drop 3 out of the last 5. There are certainly a number of factors to consider, maybe it's a combination of the Warriors not being themselves, coupled with the Thunder playing as well oiled and together as they have in a long time. For the first time all season, Oklahoma City have played like the favorites and the Warriors have played like the underdogs -- a position unfamiliar to those of Dub nation.

What's at stake?

If the Warriors somehow are unable to climb out of the hole they've found themselves in, it could go down as arguably the greatest disappointment in terms of regular season and Playoff performance.

With a record-breaking 73 wins, it seems unfathomable that the Warriors should be down as deep in the hole as they are after an entire season of excellence. And, if they are to lose this series, it'd easily go down as the greatest discrepancy in terms of regular season high and Playoff low.

For the Thunder, the stakes are just as high.

With Kevin Durant's looming free agency, this may very well be the last time we see the duo of he and Westbrook in the same uniform if things somehow go south for the Thunder. The core of Westbrook, Durant, and Ibaka have played together for a number of years with nothing to show for it in terms of winning it all. Will this be the last time we see this core take the floor together?

If OKC loses, it's likely that the current roster as we know it will dismantle, but, if this group makes it to the NBA finals and wins it all, maybe Durant ultimately stays put and he and Westbrook lead the Thunder for a few more years to come.

Both teams have quite the storyline going into Game 6, and how those storylines end will largely be dictated by who ultimately comes out on top.