Durant, Brooks Offer High Praise for Dragic, Suns

At 46-15 on the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are positioning themselves for what many believe to be a deep playoff run.

Still, even as Western Conference foes, they can’t help but notice this year’s surprising Suns team and their impact on the league.

“They did it a little quicker than we did it,” Kevin Durant said Thursday. “New coach, first year and they’re in the playoff [race].

“They’re a little ahead of the curve.”

Certainly, a huge part of how effective they’ve been is due to the play of Goran Dragic, who joins Durant and Lebron James as the only three players in the NBA this season to be averaging at least 19 points and five assists while shooting at least 48 percent from the field.

A fact that Thunder coach Scott Brooks makes a point not to overlook.

"[Dragic] is one of the best at attacking (the basket) and finding the gaps,” Brooks said. “He's having a great year.”

Durant also offered praise for the job Jeff Hornacek has done, making note of how impassioned the team plays for their head coach. Phoenix is in the midst of one of the biggest turnarounds in the NBA in Hornacek’s first season as head coach as evidenced by a 28 percent increase in winning percentage from the 2012-13 season.

“They’ve got a great group of guys,” Durant added. “Coach Hornacek has done a great job. Having those guys buy into what he’s teaching.

“Once you have a group that buys in, no matter who’s there, things are going to go well.”