I already wrote what I think about the Eastern Conference playoffs, now it is time to write about the Western Conference. Possibly two of the best series we will see all year took place in the West. The Lakers-Nuggets series was fantastic and the Lakers big men ended up being the key to their game 7 victory. We saw the Thunder sweep the Mavs, don’t let the score fool you, the Mavs fought and battled, but the Thunder were just too strong. The number one seed also did not disappoint, as the San Antonio Spurs swept the Jazz with ease. They got great play out of their stars, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker. Possibly the best series that has happened so far in these playoffs, Clippers-Grizzlies, was a physical, grind it out type of series. Players were flying up and down the floor and getting fast break dunks and three’s, and that is what made this series great. The Clippers were able to hang on and take the series in game 7.
San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (5)
The Spurs-Clippers series is going to be one to watch for one reason, the two styles of play. The Spurs are a grind it out, defensive minded, fundamental basketball team. Whereas the Clippers are an up and down, fastbreak basketball team. They match up well with each other, but can also exploit the other teams weaknesses. The Clippers will be able to take advantage using their athleticism to get up and down on the Spurs, whose best players are all above the age of 30. Don’t count the Spurs out though, they were the number one seed for a reason. They have been able to play “team” basketball. They share the ball with each other very well. The Spurs have 3 players above 5 assists per game. One big advantage they will help the Spurs out in this series is their coach, Gregg Popovich. The NBA Coach of the Year is no slouch when it comes to coaching his team. He was able to lead this old, no-superstar laden team to the number one seed in the Western Conference, which may have 3 of the top 5 teams in the NBA. Because of him I have to take the Spurs in this series, but that doesn’t mean the Clippers won’t give them a fight.
- Spurs in 6
Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (3)
The Lakers may be the toughest matchup for the favorite in these playoffs, the OKC Thunder. The Lakers matchup very well with the Thunder and have all the pieces to force an upset in the 2nd round. The Lakers have the big men to matchup with Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will be able to match what those two bring in the paint, and will be able to have control on the boards for the Lake Show. Also, one great thing that will help the Lakers will be a man by the name of, Metta World Peace. World Peace is known as one of the great defenders in the game of basketball and he will be able to matchup with NBA Scoring Title Champion, Kevin Durant. But I still believe the Thunder will be able to pull through. Russell Westbrook and James Harden will be the X-Factors throughout the series. One, because I don’t know who is going to match up with those two. Two, they can both break out at any time. Kobe will not allow the Lakers to get blown out of the water or get swept. Kobe is the one thing that could truly get the Lakers past the Thunder. This may be Kobe’s real last chance to get back to the NBA Finals and he is going to give his all throughout the series.
- Thunder in 7