Oklahoma City Thunder: 3 players facing most pressure in 2019-20
(Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Even with lower expectations for the Oklahoma City Thunder next season due to an unforeseen offseason these three players are still facing pressure.
Championship aspirations and playoff expectations have disappeared for the Oklahoma City Thunder this season just like Paul George and Russell Westbrook, but several players on the team are still facing pressure to produce in the beginning of a reset.
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Pressure to produce is a fickle thing.
It isn’t tangible. You could argue that it isn’t even real, rather just self created stress.
Regardless, different NBA players feel pressure in different situations.
Many feel the pressure to produce strictly from being in the league, whereas it seems like Kawhi Leonard seemingly never feels pressure from anywhere. It’s a case-by-case issue that can sometimes make or break a player.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have faced external pressure to succeed at the highest level for almost a decade. Now with their superstars suiting up in different jerseys that external pressure has released. The Thunder are no longer facing pressure to make the playoffs or a run at a title.
Now, it’s the pressure to recreate what they did ten years ago; build another contender.
Logic would tell you that since the team is no longer facing pressure to succeed then neither are the players. Again, feeling pressure is on a case-by-case basis. The Oklahoma City roster features players of different ages in different stages of their careers and pursuing different goals.
While someone like newly signed rookie Darius Bazley presumably has no pressure on him this season, second-year guard Hamidou Diallo may feel the need to prove himself to the team — and the league as a whole.
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The feeling of pressure to succeed is different for everyone. For these three Thunder players, though, that pressure is there even months before the season officially begins.