I love Harden. Wish we still had him. However, there is one playoff game they ever let him take over (game 4 against Dallas) he hit a big 3 game 5 against SA, but that was only because he caught with the ball. So when you say Westbrook can't hit clutch shots like Harden I have to disagree. Westbrook has hit a lot more big shots in the playoffs for the Thunder. He gets a lot of blame (some deserved) but The dude is a balls to the wall competitor.
The legend of James Harden when it comes to the Thunder is a bit exaggerated. His biggest contributions were normally in the second and third periods. Same as what Kevin Martin does now. The role is the same and he fills it the same. In fact maybe better because they desperately needed a 3 point shooter to stretch the floor. Thabo is also shooting over 40% from 3 this year. So in some aspects OKC is better than last year.
The West will come down to OKC, SA, and LAC. Nothing that happened would surprise me. The Harden trade will be pointed to if OKC gets knocked out earlier, but I honestly don't feel it will be the difference. Harden was held down in OKC and Martin can do what he was asked to do. Now if playoff pressure gets to him that's another story, but I've seen it get to Harden as well.
As I have said all year I don't think this is the year we win a title with or without Harden. They will be a really tough out though, and will get better and have very good chances in the coming years.
I respect the shit out of SA, but they have been the best regular season team 3 years running, and haven't been to the Finals once. Yeah, they can win a championship, but the recent track record hasn't been good.