WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS:
(1) SAN ANTONIO SPURS vs. (2) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
There are an abundance of reasons why the Thunder should win this series. Kevin Durant is the best scorer in the NBA; Russell Westbrook is one of the most dynamic point guards in recent memory; they just absolutely demolished the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. The list goes on.
There are just as many reasons San Antonio should waltz into the NBA Finals. Eighteen of them, in fact.
The Spurs have the experience the Thunder lack, they have one of the greatest big men in NBA history in Tim Duncan still at the top of his game and have won an astounding 18 consecutive games including a four-game obliteration of the Clippers in the conference semifinals. San Antonio will enjoy the home court-advantage it earned in the regular season while it seeks the franchise’s fifth championship since 1999.
San Antonio will need to find a way to stop Durant and Westbrook, a task that can’t be taken lightly. NBA Coach of the Year Greg Popovich does seem to always find an answer to every riddle, as the Spurs bottled up Blake Griffin and Chris Paul with ease in the conference semifinals. Tiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair will be key in winning the battle in the paint.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
The Oklahoma City Thunder were originally known as the Seattle Supersonics before moving to the Oklahoma capital before the 2008 season, and quickly became one of the most dangerous teams in the Western Conference. With two playoff appearances and a trip to the conference finals under their belts, the Thunder have solidified their status as a competitive franchise.
The Thunder made the playoffs for the first time during the 2009-10 season behind the stellar play of forward Kevin Durant, point guard Russell Westbrook and a collection of young, developing talent. It was then that the Thunder earned the eighth seed in the playoffs and were pitted against the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder went on to shock the champs by evening the series at two games apiece, but the Lakers outlasted them and won in six games.
The team had even greater playoff success during the 2010-11 season, when they cruised through the first round against the Denver Nuggets in five games. The Thunder then fought a tough series against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round and triumphed in seven games. Unfortunately, the Thunder would eventually fall in five games in the conference finals to the Dallas Mavericks, who would then go on to capture the NBA title.
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