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Thunder Not Going Soft Without Harden

AP Photo

A few nights ago as his team prepared to play the team with the best record in basketball, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl was asked if he thought the Oklahoma City Thunder’s transition from James Harden to Kevin Martin was complete.

Yes, yes he did, Karl said.

And then the game happened. At halftime, the Nuggets had a six-point lead — well, that is if they only had to outscore Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

“They wanted to kick our butts,” Karl would say after the 20-point beat down, “and they did.”

Two nights later the most efficient offensive machine in basketball directed the buzz saw at the improving Dallas Mavericks. The...

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