On Saturday night, prior to the Cavaliers triumphant win over the NBA's most explosive offensive, I asked Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks to compare his Thunder team during Kevin Durant's second season to the Cleveland Cavaliers in year two of Kyrie Irving.
Our exchange on that is below.
The 'OKC Model' for rebuilding an NBA team has been mentioned ad nauseam over the last few years—especially here in Cleveland as it relates to the Cavs.
I have never believed this model is something that can be technically duplicated or followed. In my opinion, the OKC model is a rebuilding-through-the-draft-method that's worked for the Thunder specifically as a result of many unique factors.
In saying that, though, generally building through the draft could work for other NBA teams as well. The Thunder are the standard by which those rebuilds are measured, so I was interested to hear what Brooks had to say about Cleveland's progress while I had the chance to ask him.
I believe he's right, too, that the Cavs do have a collection of good, young players. Not simply a collection of youth with high ceilings that haven't demonstrated anything on the NBA level to this point.
But while it is still difficult to believe Cleveland could employ an offense that leads the league in both efficiency and points three seasons from now as defending conference champions, it was also probably difficult for Thunder fans to believe the same thing in 2009.
During that season, Durant's second in the league, OKC would finish 23-59 overall and 22-47 under Brooks. They played .280 basketball on the year. Following the Cavaliers' win over OKC on Saturday, they are now winning at a .292-clip, for whatever that might be worth this morning.