The Oklahoma City Thunder just shocked the NBA world by striking first in their Western Conference Finals series with the Golden State Warriors. Russell Westbrook was unstoppable in the second half, guiding OKC to a big game one win and a 1-0 series lead.

Big Upset

The Thunder were able to go into the hostile Oracle Arena – a venue where the Dubs lost twice all year – and get a huge win to kick off the series before the NBA Finals. It was road win number three in a row, too, giving them three straight wins away from home against the Spurs and Warriors, who combined for just three home losses during the regular season.

Sure, it’s possible this is as exciting as the Thunder’s run gets. Or maybe they figured themselves out at the right time and are just now hitting their stride. One thing is for sure, they can no longer be taken lightly and the Warriors could very well have a full seven-game series on their hands.

Can They Do It?

But can the Thunder actually win this thing and get back to the NBA Finals? When you look at how they beat the Spurs, how they just beat Golden State and the talent they have, the answer is obvious: sure, why not?

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant might be the best duo in the entire NBA, head coach Billy Donovan does not lead or coach like a rookie and an OKC team known for their explosive offense has displayed some serious defensive chops over their last several games. If all of that stays true, OKC absolutely has a chance to shock the world and make it back to the Finals.

Not Up For Chance

The thing that’s weird about the Western Conference Finals is that at least for the longest time, it doesn’t normally get left up to chance. In other words, we usually clearly see who the best team was/is and we don’t get to seven games. The series has only seen two 4-0 sweeps in the last 14 years, but it’s also only seen one game seven during that span. In fact, the last one came way back during the 2001-2002 season, when the Los Angeles Kings outlasted the Sacramento Kings.

And every NBA fan that was around back then remembers that series. It was brutal and it was highway robbery. The refs played a massive hand in Sacramento getting screwed out of a shot at a title, and no one will soon forget it – especially those Kings players.

OKC got gifted their third bad non-call in these playoffs on Monday night, so it’s fair to wonder if something like that could repeat itself. Even if it can’t, history might suggest that one of these teams will find their footing and finish this series earlier than we’re currently anticipating.

Does that mean the Dubs make up for this loss by going on a four-game run? Will the Thunder go back and forth and then win games five and six to close it out? Or will we actually go all the way to a full seven games series for the first time since 2002?

Thunder Betting Odds

What you want to believe is up to you. All we know for sure is that OKC is third in the NBA Finals odds department per Bovada (+350), so short of betting on Toronto (+2500) to shock the world, they’re the best bet when it comes to return that is left on the table.

Golden State could still tie things back up in game two and enforce their will the rest of the way, but OKC striking first tells us they’re here to play and makes them a legit threat. It’s up to Golden State to respond now, but placing a bet on the Thunder given the way they’re playing right now certainly isn’t that silly of an idea.

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