- Tom Haberstroh
According to the brilliant work of ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton, we see that young teams that make the conference finals aren't exactly locks to get there again the following year. Here's Pelton's big takeaway:
Of the 10 youngest conference finalists, as many (four) failed to return to the conference finals during the ensuing five years as made multiple trips.
So what do the Thunder, Bulls and Heat need to do to ensure this run isn't a one-hit wonder? Let's outline three areas of long-term improvement for each of the teams:
1. Find an offensive coordinator
As we're finding out with Kevin Durant, it's easier to elevate from a good player to a great player than it is to elevate from a great player to an elite player. He's still just 22 years old, but statistically he took a step backward in 2010-11 when we all thought he'd continue on his meteoric rise.
Tom Haberstroh writes that while the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder aren't locks to return to the conference finals next season, there are clear steps each can take to improve so that they do make it back.