The Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to return to a familiar place and time in the upcoming 2015-16 campaign.
One of the select few teams in the league to boast two legitimate MVP candidates in the high-scoring tandem of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder have also advanced to the Western Conference Finals in three of the last five seasons.
Their slip from the postseason altogether in 2014-15, a time when Durant and Westbrook missed a combined 70 games, now serves as major fuel for them as they seek to resume their push for the organization’s first NBA title.
With expectations high again, so are tickets for OKC Thunder games, which are going up in price as the new season draws closer. In fact, in their first game of the year against the San Antonio Spurs, which is also the club’s home opener at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the average ticket price on the secondary market is a whopping $230.79, which is about on par with a playoff game. Additionally, the get-in price is $56 according to TotallyTickets.com.
To illustrate how much fans are anticipating the Thunder’s upcoming campaign, that’s not even the most expensive ticket price for one of their home games this season. That distinction belongs to OKC’s home date with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers, when they meet at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Feb. 21. That Sunday showdown carries an average ticket price of $313.08 according to TotallyTickets.com, while the get-in price currently sits at $99.
Westbrook spent part of his summer working out with Durant, and last season’s NBA scoring champ now boldly pronounces the former league MVP as ready as he’ll ever be to bounce back from his foot injury and reassert his status as one of the league’s most unique and dominant talents.
“I think he’s in great shape,” said Westbrook. “I think he’s fine. Shape won’t be a problem. Just him getting back into the groove of things and finding his rhythm is the most important part.”
Overall, the Thunder appear to have all the ingredients. Veterans Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams, Nick Collison, DJ Augustin, Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter should serve as a strong complement to Durant and Westbrook’s star power, assuring that OKC boasts one of the league’s deepest and most versatile units.
Billy Donovan takes over at the helm after the team decided to part ways with longtime head coach Scott Brooks. Donovan was immensely successful in the college ranks, leading the Florida Gators to back-to-back NCAA titles, and thus, it will be very intriguing to see how that translates at the NBA level, while possessing one of the most talented rosters in the league. No matter what, with a motivated Durant and a healthy Westbrook, at the very least, the Thunder have a legitimate shot.
“I hated seeing someone else win,” Durant recently told reporters of having to watch the rival Golden State Warriors hoist the NBA trophy last season. “There were great basketball games being played, and I’ve got to respect it.”
But you can’t make the former NBA MVP feel as if he had to like it. And this season, he and Westbrook are aiming to do everything they can in getting back to the NBA Finals — except this time, they plan on winning it all.