Kevin Durant expects Oklahoma City to remain a fixture in the chase for an NBA championship, even as the Thunder try to overcome the early absence of All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.

Oklahoma City had the best record in the Western Conference last season, earning a No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a 60-22 record during the regular season.

Following a knee injury to Westbrook, the Thunder lost in the second round of the playoff to Memphis — falling short of a return trip to the NBA Finals.

Westbrook is expected to miss the first few weeks of this season after a second surgery on his right knee earlier this month, but the team expects him to make a full recovery.