May 27, 2012

2012 NBA Playoff Predictions: Western Conference Finals

Thoughts: The Spurs won the season series 2-1 (like Dallas did against OKC last year) with Manu Ginobili playing in a grand total of zero of the contests. Manu is back and that will make a huge difference. On the other hand, Kevin Durant is a bad, bad man, so it's hard to just dismiss his team (though it seems like a lot of people are).

Oklahoma City's Key To Victory: Shoot 50+% from the field. I know, I know, if any team makes more than 50% of their shots they're likely to win, but this especially hold true for OKC because they are primarily a jump shooting team. Yes, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook can drive to the hoop, but they much rather jack up jumpers. If those jumpers aren't falling, they're going down quick.

San Antonio's Key To Victory: Keep playing like the Spurs. That's it. There's a reason San Antonio hasn't lost a game since April 11th and it's because they are a fucking good team. Yeah, they played a defeated Jazz team in the first round and a depleted Clippers team in the second, but the Spurs have looked great regardless.

Oklahoma City's X-Factor: James Harden. It is imperative that James Harden wins the 6th Man Of The Year battle with Manu Ginobili for the Thunder to win this series. If he wins, OKC will probably pull off the upset, but if he gets outplayed, the Spurs will sweep or win in 5.

San Antonio's X-Factor: Manu Ginobili. Again, whoever wins the 6th Man Of The Year battle will likely win the series and a trip to the NBA Finals.

Prediction: Thunder win in 7. I'm expecting a back and forth, eye for an eye type of series, and it's only right this one goes the distance. Yeah, the potential Game 7 would be in San Antonio, but everyone thinking the Spurs are going to win makes me think the Thunder will.