It's easy to dismiss blowouts such as this one. Sure, the Mavericks normally play well against the Thunder, but they aren't very good. Besides, two of their key players against the Thunder, Vince Carter and Chris Kaman, were out with injuries.

While that may be true, it's ignoring one very simple fact: The bench kickstarted this run.

Not too long ago, I was constantly railing on the Thunder bench for their poor play. Durant and Westbrook both had to see their minutes increase because the bench was consistently losing leads. The biggest change has obviously been the removal of Eric Maynor, who was shooting dreadful percentages from the floor. But Kevin Martin has improved as well. He used to get stuck on the perimeter a lot, but recently he's shown more confidence in driving the ball and getting to the line. Furthermore, his off-ball cuts have gotten more effective as the year's dragged on.