Spurs vs Thunder
Spurs, Thunder, Heat, Celtics. Only these four teams remain in what has been a hectic and shortened season due to the lockout. With a series win, two of these teams will have the chance to play for the NBA Title and be crowned Champions for the 2011-12 season. Although the NBA Finals are much anticipated, the Western Conference Finals matchup between the Spurs and Thunder could potentially be a more exciting season to watch.
The San Antonio Spurs are the hottest team in basketball right now. With 19 consecutive wins and two series sweeps over the Clippers and Jazz, the Spurs appear to be unstoppable. If you were putting in rankings right now the Spurs and Thunder would probably be the one two punch as of now. However, the young Thunder team has already fell victim to the experience and balance of the Spurs as they lost 101-98 in Game 1.
The Spurs are an incredibly well-balanced and unselfish team. They have perhaps the best second unit in the league and arenâ€™t afraid to spread the wealth. The difference from this yearâ€™s Spurs team from the previous few is that they have shown they can run with the younger teams. By adding young players such as Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Thiago Splitter, the Spurs can play a fast paced game if need be and still maximize output from their veterans.
Although they have adapted and gained the ability to play a fast paced game, I believe the Spurs are most dangerous in a half court set. With the coach of the year in Greg Popovich, he always has his team prepared and plays drawn up to beat the opposing defense. With playmakers like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, the Spurs can easily penetrate and kick the ball out to perimeter shooters like Matt Bonner, Steven Jackson, and Danny Green.
On the other side of the court, we have the Oklahoma City Thunder.Â With arguably the best one two punch in the league with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant as well as the sixth man of the year in James Harden, this dynamic team has opened many eyes with its fast paced attack.
The Thunderâ€™s offense is more of a fast break and dribble drive offense. With playmakers like Harden, Durant, and Westbrook, it is an effective method and has got them to the Conference Finals. Also, the Thunder have some defense playmakers as well. Serge Ibaka is one of the best shot blockers in the league and Kendrick Perkins is an outstanding defender as well.
However, the Thunder lack depth and because of this, I believe the Spurs will win this series. I believe the Spurs will win Game 2, but donâ€™t believe it will be another sweep. The Thunder have an excellent home crowd and because of that, I see this series going 6 games. I have the Spurs advancing to the NBA Finals and taking the series 4-2.