If there is a model out there for the Nets to emulate, it may be the Thunder. With some smart draft picks and opportunist trades and free agent signings, Oklahoma City is one game shy of 40 wins and tied for fifth place in the West with the Suns. Of course, a little bit of luck helped too. If they had won the 2007 lottery and taken Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant, it's unlikely they'd be sitting so pretty. Durant has emerged as one of the game's young superstars, averaging close to 30 points a game at age 21. He's not the only emerging star on the Oklahoma City roster. Russell Westbrook is averaging 18 and 9 over the last month. One undercovered element of the teamr's success: they've become a defensive juggernaut. Oklahoma City has won 15 of 18 behind a defense that ranks fourth in the league in efficiency.
Meanwhile, on the Nets side of things, Terrence Williams admits he has matured over the course of his "rocky" season, and it's helping his game. He tells Al Iannazzone, "I don’t think I say things I would have said earlier in the year now. I take it for what it is being that it is a job. It’s nothing personal if you’re not playing. But if I’m thinking something I’m not going to voice it."