NBA Finals: Heat vs. Thunder

As heartbroken as I am to write this after C’s loss it must be done. But I will say, the Celtics fought hard and I truly hope last night wasn’t the last time us C’s fans see the original “Big 3” play together. I guess that is neither here nor there so let’s move on to what may be one of the best finals match ups in years. Finally, we have the two best players in the world going head to head in a battle to be the World Champions. You may say, “Well every year the best players match up”, wrong! If you look at the past few years in the NBA Finals, usually one of the best players makes it, sometimes neither of them. Last year it was LeBron and Dirk. Dirk was not one of the top two players in the league last year, he dominated the playoffs, but was certainly not top 2. The year before we had Kobe against the Celtics. No one on the Celtics was a top 2 player. And even the year before that, it was the same matchup. This year we get to see THE 2 best players in the world go neck and neck for the final prize.

Kevin Durant vs. LeBron james, arguably one of the best head to head match ups we have seen in a long time. Both teams come out of their respective leagues as the champs, and have been the favorites since the beginning of the season. The Thunder rolled through the West with relative ease. Sweeping the defending champion Mavericks in 4 games, beating Kobe and co. in 5 games, and won the Western Conference in 6 games, coming back from 2 down to take the series. The Heat have had a little tougher road getting through the East. In the first round the beat the utterly pitiful NY Knicks in 5 games (how that wasn’t a sweep is beyond me), they beat Larry Bird’s Pacers in 6 games, and finally beat the C’s in 7. The Thunder haven’t really been scared throughout these playoffs, whereas the Heat had a little scare put into them by the Celtics, having to go into the Garden in Game 6.

OKC has the ability to become a dynasty for years to come. They have all the pieces to help them dominate the NBA for quite a few years. When your best players, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, are only 23 years old, the future looks extremely bright. Arguably the MVP of the playoffs, Kevin Durant, has been spectacular. Durantula has averaged 28 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists throughout the playoffs, but don’t think he has been doing it by himself. The Thunder’s biggest threat is their depth. They have a loaded bench highlighted by 6th man of the Year, James Harden. It also helps when you have one of the best PG’s in the league as well in Westbrook. At 22 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds a game, Westbrook is always a threat to do anything on the court. He has scary athleticism when he drives to the bucket and can dunk on anyone. The most important players on the Thunder are neither of those two though, they are Serge Ibaka and James Harden. Harden, who comes off the bench, would start on any other team in the NBA, but because of the lineup the Thunder he has to be the 6th man. He comes in and is an immediate spark. Harden is a matchup problem for most role/bench players that he is usually matched up against. One thing about Harden is that he always goes left. It doesn’t matter if everyone is in his way going left, he is shooting a left handed layup. It’s almost like Rondo never using his left, it’s that constant not using the other hand. Harden helps Durant and Westbrook by spreading out the floor. He has a solid 3-point shot, shooting 45% in the postseason. Ibaka is a whole ‘nother story. Ibaka is going to cause some problems for the Heat because as we all know the Heat can’t shoot the outside shot very well. They rely heavily on attacking the rim and finishing above the rim. Ibaka will make that a tough task, he averages 4 blocks a game and countless changed shots. He will be able to disrupt D-Wade’s drives as well as LeBron’s. Which is something that the Thunder will need to do consistently to help them gain an advantage.

Is it finally time for LBJ to get a ring? Will he finally get that monkey off of his back? I don’t know but I sure know he is going to come in prepared and won’t let what happened last year happen again. LeBron has come into these playoffs with a vengeance. It is crazy to me that people think that he hasn’t been playing well, what are you on meth? LeBron has been averaging 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists per game! Those are absurd numbers, yet people are doubting him. In Game 6 against the Celtics, possibly his biggest/most important playoff game he has ever played in, he was Superman like. He had 45, 15, and 5 and shot 73%. Incredible. I am ready to see a LeBron I haven’t seen yet. One that has a little chip on his shoulder, one that truly wants the ring. He won’t do it alone though. With the likes of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, LBJ will have help. In Game 7 against the C’s, Bosh was spectacular. Single handily broke the Celtics spirits with his shooting. And Dwayne Wade has been no bum, although he has gotten off to slow starts, Wade has been a force to be reckon with. Countless drives and acrobatic finishes have been in his highlight reel throughout the playoffs. I believe the two biggest keys for the Heat will be two players that are not in the Big 3. Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers. Two outside shooters, who if they are knocking down shots, can kill teams and help lift the Heat. Battier is also one of the best on-ball defenders in the Association, I don’t know if Spoelstra will place him on KD, but Battier will be able to defend James Harden. The Heat matchup well everywhere except for in the paint, hopefully they will be able to make up for that with their on-ball defense.

This series has dramatics written all over it. I envision big shot after big shot, and big play after big play. There are too many stars in this series for it not to happen. The key to the entire series will be the defense of both teams. We all know that both teams can score and score at will. It will be the first team that can buckle down and get stops that will win this series. I love the Thunder in this one and I’d love to see a dynasty in the making. I’m taking the Thunder and LBJ will have to hear it from fans for another year.

  • Thunder in 6

Who would you take: Kevin Durant or LeBron James?

These 2012 playoffs have been begging NBA fans everywhere to debate this topic, who would you take: KD35 or King James? Both players are currently at the top of the basketball world. But you need to look at what these two players have been able to do this year, it is mind blowing. Every night you know you are going to get some sort of show. Whether it is KD’s scoring ability or the athletic freakiness of LBJ. They both bring different things to the table and both of them have different abilities that they can unleash on anyone at anytime. But, what makes one of them better than the other? Wins? Points? How clutch they may be? (which may take LeBron right out of it) or any other statistical category? I believe it comes down to who you would want on draft day if you were able to start a fantasy franchise.

Picture this: You have just purchased a team that will be located in Boise, Idaho, pretty much the middle of nowhere, where they might not even have basketball courts, but that’s besides the point. You now have control of an NBA franchise in Boise and you have been allowed to take any player you want from any team to become your franchise cornerstone. As you look throughout the entire league you know it boils down to two players, LeBron James or Kevin Durant. As the owner of the Cosmo Kramers (a little Seinfeld reference) you have the ability to take anyone. As LBJ and KD await to see who is picked in the infamous “Green Room”, you sit in your nice comfy chair and take a look at the reasons why you should take either one of these two.

Kevin Durant has been excellent this year. At age 23, he has been able to raise his game to an extremely high level and has not yet reached his potential ceiling. With as young as Durant is, he has all the intangibles that make him a leader. His calm and cool personality make him come off as less competitive, which couldn’t be any farther from the truth. This man is a cold-blooded killer, who can score 10 points on you at any second (Ask the Spurs after he scored 18 straight points in Game 4). What truly makes Durant special are not his numbers on the court but just how much he cares about winning. When your best player cares the most, plays the hardest, works the hardest, pulls for everyone else and doesn’t care about his own numbers, you’re always going to be in good shape. Durant has become the youngest scoring title winner, the next youngest was guess who, Kevin Durant. He has the ability to lead your team in so many ways. He can score, defend, rebound and be unselfish with the ball. I’m not the only one who is saying these things either, the NBA Coach of the Year, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, volunteered the following about Durant: “He’s arguably the greatest player in the world.” He’s pure on a Larry Bird level, just ridiculous. Durant is. LeBron’s not. Durant has averaged 28 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists a game this year, shooting the peach at a 50% clip.

LeBron James gives you something that not many players can, and that’s an all-around game. LeBron has the abilities to score, rebound, pass and defend the opposing teams best player. He gives coaches the ability to place him anywhere on the floor and give him any assignment. LeBron has done just about everything you can do in an NBA career and he is only 27 years of age. He has won 3 MVP’s, Rookie of the Year, and has been an All-NBA and All-Star selection every year since 2005. Those accolades are not what makes him great though, it is the way he plays the game. Like Jordan, LeBron has the ability to affect the game on both sides of the ball. Defensively, he can guard any position, we have been able to see this in the series he is currently in with the Celtics. He has guarded Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and even Kevin Garnett, and he was successful guarding all three. He rebounds the ball extremely well, using his athleticism and size to go up and grab boards at their highest point. LeBron is a physical marvel when you look at him. He is a human freight train when he drives to the bucket, no one is going to step in front of the Hulk. LeBron has averaged 27.1 points per a game, just a smidgen under Durant’s 28, with 7.9 boards and 6 assists.

Factually speaking, Durant is a better shooter than LeBron, and statistically speaking he’s a better scorer. He’s a similar rebounder. He doesn’t defend or create at LeBron’s level, but Durant is gaining ground in both spots. Given all that, LeBron’s better, right? It’s close, but he’s better. LeBron’s not just the MVP, though he is, but he’s also the guy you’d take if you were asked, “Who would you build a team around, LeBron or Durant?” I just don’t know if it is that easy of an answer. Durant is more clutch than LeBron. Durant’s a closer, a finisher. While the world was waiting for LeBron to inherit from Kobe Bryant the title of Game’s Best Closer, Durant snuck up and took it. The title’s gone. It doesn’t belong to Kobe anymore, and it might never belong to LeBron. Not while Durant’s around, closing out games and getting better at it. Durant also takes the cake when we move to the mind’s of both players. Mentally Durant is more tough and has the ability to stay composed under pressure. James looks like a 6 year old girl who doesn’t know where her doll is at the end of games. And that makes up a huge difference. That can make you a winner or a loser. We have all watched both of these players play and we know what each of them is.

So you give me the pick of the entire league and you want me to start a team from scratch, I know who I’m taking. As I walk my white envelope up to NBA Commissioner David Stern, I know I have made the right choice. Give me Kevin Durant with my first pick. I’d like to have LeBron, sure. I’d like to have the most talented all-around player in the game.

But I’d rather win.

So with the 1st pick in the new NBA Expansion Draft, the Cosmo Kramers select… Kevin Durant, Small Forward from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

NBA Draft: 1st Round Mock Draft

Round 1 Picks:

  1. New Orleans Hornets
  2. Charlotte Bobcats
  3. Washington Wizards
  4. Cleveland Cavs
  5. Sacramento Kings
  6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Brooklyn Nets)
  7. Golden State Warriors
  8. Toronto Raptors
  9. Detroit Pistons
  10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota Timberwolves)
  11. Portland Trail Blazers
  12. Milwaukee Bucks
  13. Phoenix Suns
  14. Houston Rockets
  15. Philadelphia 76ers
  16. Houston Rockets (via NY Knickerbockers)
  17. Dallas Mavericks
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Utah Jazz)
  19. Orlando Magic
  20. Denver Nuggets
  21. Boston Celtics
  22. Boston Celtics (via L.A. Clippers)
  23. Atlanta Hawks
  24. Cleveland Cavs (via L.A. Lakers)
  25. Memphis Grizzlies
  26. Indiana Pacers
  27. Miami Heat
  28. OKC Thunder
  29. Chicago Bulls
  30. Golden State Warriors (via San Antonio Spurs)
Round 1 Mock:
1) New Orleans Hornets:
Anthony Davis
School: Kentucky

Position: PF/C

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’10”, 220 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists

2) Charlotte Bobcats
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
School: Kentucky

Position: SF

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’7″, 232 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists

3) Washington Wizards

Thomas Robinson

School: Kansas

Position: PF

Year: Junior

Vitals: 6’10”, 237 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 17.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists

4) Cleveland Cavs

Bradley Beal

School: Florida

Position: SG

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’3″, 207 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists

5) Sacramento Kings

Andre Drummond

School: Connecticut

Position: PF/C

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’10”, 270 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 10.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists

6) Portland Trail Blazers

Perry Jones III

School: Baylor

Position: PF

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’11”, 235 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 14.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists

7) Golden State Warriors

Harrison Barnes

School: North Carolina

Position: SF

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’8″, 215 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 17.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists

8) Toronto Raptors

Jeremy Lamb

School: Connecticut

Position: SG/SF

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’5″, 180 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists

9) Detroit Pistons

Jared Sullinger

School: Ohio State

Position: PF

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’9″, 265 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 17.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists

10) New Orleans Hornets

Terrence Jones

School: Kentucky

Position: SF/PF

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’9″, 252 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists

11) Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard

School: Weber State

Position: PG/SG

Year: Junior

Vitals: 6’3″, 195 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 24.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists

12) Milwaukee Bucks

John Henson

School: North Carolina

Position: PF/C

Year: Junior

Vitals: 6’11”, 220 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 13.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists

13) Phoenix Suns

Kendall Marshall

School: North Carolina

Position: PG

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’4″, 195 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 9.7 assists

14) Houston Rockets

Meyers Leonard

School: Illinois

Position: C

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 7’1″, 245 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists

15) Philadelphia 76ers

Tyler Zeller

School: North Carolina

Position: PF/C

Year: Senior

Vitals: 7’0″, 250 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 16.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists

16) Houston Rockets

Quincy Miller

School: Baylor

Position: SF

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’9″, 200 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 10.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists

17) Dallas Mavericks

Dion Waiters

School: Syracuse

Position: PG/SG

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’4″, 215 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists

18) Minnesota Timberwolves

Terrence Ross

School: Washington

Position: SG/SF

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’6″, 195 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 15.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists

19) Orlando Magic

Marquis Teague

School: Kentucky

Position: PG

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’2″, 189 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists

20) Denver Nuggets

Austin Rivers

School: Duke

Position: PG/SG

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’4″, 200 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 15.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists

21) Boston Celtics

Arnett Moultrie

School: Mississippi State

Position: PF/C

Year: Junior

Vitals: 6’11”, 230 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 15.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists

22) Boston Celtics

Moe Harkless

School: St. John’s

Position: SG/SF

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’8″, 208 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists

23) Atlanta Hawks

Tony Wroten

School: Washington

Position: PG/SG

Year: Freshman

Vitals: 6’5″, 205 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists

24) Cleveland Cavs

Evan Fournier

Team: Poitiers

Position: Shooting guard/small forward

Age: 19

Vitals: 6’7″, 206 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists (in Pro A France)

25) Memphis Grizzlies

Tyshawn Taylor

School: Kansas

Position: PG

Year: Senior

Vitals: 6’3″, 185 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 17.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists

26) Indiana Pacers

Royce White

School: Iowa State

Position: No Idea (but really SF/PF)

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’8″, 270 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 13.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists

27) Miami Heat

Fab Melo

School: Syracuse

Position: C

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 7’0″, 255 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists

28) OKC Thunder

Jeffery Taylor

School: Vanderbilt

Position: SF

Year: Senior

Vitals: 6’7″, 225 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists

29) Chicago Bulls

Doron Lamb

School: Kentucky

Position: SG

Year: Sophomore

Vitals: 6’4″, 210 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 13.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists

30) Golden State Warriors

Draymond Green

School: Michigan State

Position: SF/PF

Year: Senior

Vitals: 6’7″, 230 pounds

2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 16.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists

NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals

And here we are! It is now time that we crown a Western Conference champion. The Western Conference has been much more exciting than the Eastern Conference this entire year. One reason is that it was a toss up for who could win it. In the East most people, if not everyone, had the Heat winning it with ease and that was the consensus. In the West there were many teams that could have made a run at it. You had the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers, CP#, Blake Griffin and the Clippers, and you could have even thrown the tough, athletic Grizzlies in there. But there were always two favorites that stood out among the West, and they are both meeting in the Western Conference Finals. The #1 seed San Antonio Spurs bring experience and teamwork to the battle, as the #2 seed OKC Thunder bring youth, athleticism and 2 superstars to the battle, but this series won’t be a battle, it will be a war.

The San Antonio Spurs road a long winning streak at the end of the regular season into the #1 slot, and that streak continues today. The Spurs have won 18 of their last 21 games, which is extremely impressive for a team of their age. The Spurs may not be the youngest team (average age: 30 years old), but they bring an experience and team oriented style that has succeeded throughout the year for them. The Spurs roster has 6 players that have played in a conference championship/NBA Finals series (Duncan, Parker, Ginobli, Diaw, S. Jackson, Bonner). The Thunder have 1 (Derek Fisher). The Spurs continue to be lead by PG Tony Parker who is averaging (18, 7, 3), but he is not the only player playing well. Future HOF Tim Duncan has been holding his side of the deal as well, averaging (17,9,3). Stud 6th man, Manu Ginobli, has been bringing energy as well as scoring off of the bench for the Spurs. A big advantage that the Spurs may have in this series is sitting or standing at the top of the bench. His name is Gregg Popovich. The NBA’s Coach of the Year this year, has been leading this Spurs team throughout the playoffs and has led them to this great record in the last 20 games. Known for his short responses and stonewall demeanor, Popovich now needs to get ready to face the best duo in basketball this Sunday.

Durant and Westbrook, Westbrook and Durant, whichever way you put it, it works. The OKC Thunder have been on a roll throughout the playoffs, defeating two former champions, easily. The Thunder were able to sweep the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, and rollover the LA Lakers, 4-1. The Thunder now need to get ready for their best opponent throughout the playoffs and possibly throughout the season, the San Antonio Spurs. The key for the Thunder will be to keep feeding their two thoroughbreds, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Both have been fantastic throughout the playoffs, and they will look to continue what they have already ben doing. Durant has been the star, averaging (28,8,4), and hitting big shot after big shot. Whether it was the game winning shot in Game 1 over the Mavericks, or the go ahead 3-pointer over the out reached hand of Metta World Peace in Game 4 versus the Lakers. Not to be overshadowed, Russell Westbrook has also been fantastic. Westbrook is the man who gets the Thunder going, physically and emotionally. He has averaged (24,5,4) through this postseason and looks to continue his success against the Spurs. Although those two have been the leaders for the Thunder we can’t leave out a few players that have helped the Thunder dominate this years playoffs. James Harden, the 6th Man of the Year, brings just about everything you can bring off the bench. Not only does he score, he is able to distribute the ball and guard just about anyone defensively. And if we are talking defense we are talking both Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. These two were able to shut down the top front court in the entire league in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Their length and size help them rebound the ball, block shots and disrupt shots all over the defensive end. Ibaka is averaging 6 rebounds and 5 blocks in the postseason and Perkins is averaging 6 rebounds and 2 blocks, but stats don’t show just how important these two are to the teams success.

We have some great match ups in this series. We have arguably the 2 best PG’s in the NBA going at it in Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook. The key to this match up will be who will be the better defender between the two. If one or the other isn’t all there defensively, they will get torched. Parker and Westbrook are the two players that get their respective teams going. If either one of them can get going, the opposing team may be in trouble. Another great matchup will be how both front courts handle each other. It seems that Ibaka will more than likely be guarding Tim Duncan, and I’m interested to see how Duncan handles Ibaka’s length and quickness. The most intriguing and important match up of the entire series will be the two 6th men, Manu Ginobli and James Harden. These two players are the keys and X-Factors for their teams and who ever can play better will be able to help their team get important victories.

I am very excited to watch this series because we are bringing together two different styles of basketball. The Spurs are a slow it down, team-oriented, move the ball around offense, whereas the Thunder like to get the ball to their scorers and see what they can do. As always this game will be one on the defensive side of the ball. Both teams are able to score, but the winner will be the team that is able to defend. The Spurs have experience and excellent basketball I.Q., but I believe that the youth and athleticism of the Thunder will wear down the Spurs later in the series. But don’t get me wrong, this series won’t be a short one.

  • Thunder in 7

Dates/Times/Locations of Games

Game 1

Sun 5/27
8:30 PM ET on TNT @ Spurs

Game 2

Tue 5/29
9:00 PM ET on TNT @ Spurs

Game 3

Thu 5/31
9:00 PM ET on TNT @ Thunder

Game 4

Sat 6/2
8:30 PM ET on TNT @ Thunder

Game 5

Mon 6/4
9:00 PM ET on TNT @ Spurs

Game 6

Wed 6/6
9:00 PM ET on TNT @ Thunder

Game 7

Fri 6/8
9:00 PM ET on TNT @ Spurs

NBA Playoffs Round 2: Western Conference

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

Who will win the OKC Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks series?

Must watch TV: Thunder vs. Mavs

This series is a must watch!

These past few nights TV has been the best it has ever been. We had Manchester United vs. Manchester City, my favorite show Family Guy and the Emmy Awards. But there was one thing that really has stood out through it all, the NBA Playoffs. We have had three straight nights of unbelievable games. Whether it is the Heat pounding the Knicks, the Clippers making a miracle comeback, or the two very heated, competitive Thunder vs. Mavs games. And that is what I want to talk about. Earlier in my, What the hell happened in the Clippers game last night?, I had thought that the Clippers vs. Grizzlies series was going to be the best to watch, but I stand corrected, that is for sure. Both of these Thunder vs. Mavs games have been exciting, fun and just enjoyable to watch. Whether you are a basketball fan or not, or even hate the two teams, this series brings back old fashioned basketball. The physical play, great defense and overall tenacity of the players and coaches on the floor, you can see just how important this series is. Plus, the atmosphere of Chesapeake Arena is always electrifying, it is almost as if you are at a college basketball game with drunken kids screaming and yelling. All of these things add up to an unbelievable series that is a must watch.

In game 1, we had all the theatrics to prove how great of a series this is. The Thunder trailed by seven with 2 1/2 minutes left before rallying to take the first game by a score of 99-98. All ended by a game winning jump shot by Thunder forward, Kevin Durant, who hit the shot from the free throw line with 1.5 seconds left. “It’s the playoffs,” Durant said. “No matter how it gets done, you’ve got to do it.” But I don’t want to make it seem like it was all Thunder. Mavs star forward, Dirk Nowitzki, had 11 points in the final 5 minutes, reminiscent of last years NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. At the end of the game after Durant’s game winning bucket, the Mavs were unable to take a timeout because they did not have any and it hurt them. “If you have a timeout, you can move the ball (to half-court) and maybe have a look at it,” said Nowitzki, who had hit two free throws with 9 seconds left to put Dallas ahead. “But if you don’t have a timeout, that’s definitely a buzzer-beater.”

Game 2 was no different as both teams headed into Chesapeake Arena last night, knowing they were in for a battle. Dirk Nowitzki was hoping for the same kind of friendly bounce that allowed Kevin Durant to put the Thunder ahead in their first-round playoff series. When the ball didn’t go down, the Mavs had to settle for another frustratingly close loss and an uphill climb to survive in their first postseason since winning the NBA title. “I’ve made it 100 times. It bounced, hit every part of the rim and bounced off,” Nowitzki said. “That’s kind of the way our season’s been going.” Russell Westbrook led the charge for the Thunder going (29,2,2), while Dirk led the Mavs (31,6,1,1). But the true story of this game was free throws. Free throws had allowed the Mavs to make a large run in the second half to cut down the Thunder’s lead, suffocating them from running away with the game. But free throws helped the Thunder as they went 35-37 for the game. This allowed a slumping Kevin Durant (5-17) to get going and score his 26 points to go along with his 10 rebounds.

All in all, I can’t wait to keep watching this series. Dirk is not going to let his team get swept so I don’t see that happening at all, especially since they are now heading to Dallas for 2 games. But I will stick to the prediction I made in my Western Conference article, Thunder in 6.

Why Kevin Durant should be NBA MVP

KD should be MVP

Kevin Durant. #35 on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Arguably the best pure scorer we have seen since Michael Jordan, should be the 2012 NBA MVP. KD has been absolutely dominant this past season, leading the Thunder to a league best 47-19 record and has been playing like a man amongst boys. Enjoying his most efficient season (28-8-4, 50/38/85) , Durant has been helping his team in a variety of ways. What truly makes Durant special are not his numbers on the court but just how much he cares about winning. When your best player cares the most, plays the hardest, works the hardest, pulls for everyone else and doesn’t care about his own numbers, you’re always going to be in good shape. And it has showed throughout the season. Many people have complained that Durant could be putting up bigger numbers than he is if he didn’t have score-first PG Russell Westbrook on the club. And you know what I have felt the same way throughout the entire season, but Durant even said, “We’re worse when I take more shots…But we’re better when he (Westbrook) does do that and he’s aggressive. And I’m better when I’m out there facilitating, rebounding, defending and being more efficient on my shots with less shots.” But to truly look at the numbers Durant’s efficiency has not dwindled because of Westbrook it has actually gotten better this past season, last year he posted (27-6-3, 46/35/88) respectively.

As of yesterday, Durant took the NBA scoring title averaging an even 28.0 ppg for the third year in a row. And has become the youngest scoring title winner, the next youngest was guess who, Kevin Durant. He is averaging the most rebounds and assists he has ever averaged in his career, and is on the winningest team in basketball. How much more do I need to say. Well, there is one more thing, Durant just won’t let his team lose. He is a born winner and I believe that may put him ahead of his toughest competitor, cough-cough, Lebron James. A great example was when the Thunder played the Memphis Grizzlies. Westbrook shot a ghastly 0-13 and Durant took him and the team on his shoulders to get the win. Durant is a winner, and puts his team first. Never mind the mind-blowing numbers he is putting up, Durant should be the NBA MVP.