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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Jake Peavy

2010 NBA Western Conference Finals Preview

May 17th 2011 14:28
What a postseason. Each year, the NBA Playoffs never disappoints. There's always action, storylines, suspense, upsets, and great games. This year is no different, and both series have interesting matchups. The West may be the most perplexing, because it all has to do with which team is streakier. The Heat and Bulls are the two best teams right now- I have the Bulls winning it all- but these two teams are either on or off. They're not sure things.

I haven't been impressed with the Thunder so far in the playoffs. They were terrible at times against the Grizzlies, and I don't think they are a good enough team on the road. Even if they beat the Mavs, I doubt they win the whole thing. Even against the Nuggets, the Thunder were poor at times. They got lucky in pretty much every fourth quarter of that series. Their execution in crunch time was extremely poor.

Zach Randolph destroyed them, and they won't be able to handle Dirk Nowitzki if they can't handle Randolph. Pau Gasol was destroyed by Dirk, and Gasol is a better player than Serge Ibaka. Just keep an eye on that. The Mavericks are the best shooting team left, so that presents another weapon against the Thunder.

On the other side, the Mavs don't really have anyone to counter Westbrook and Durant. They are a subpar team in terms of perimeter defense, and Corey Brewer can't do everything for them. Their interior defense is solid with Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood coming off the bench. Shawn Marion could actually counter Durant, but I can't see Durant losing that match-up. The Mavs have to get physical against him.

Russell Westbrook will start taking stupid shots if Durant is covered. I think you have to cover Durant and let Westbrook take those kinds of shots. That puts the Thunder in jeopardy, and it is a great tactic to use against the Thunder in crunch time. That's when Westbrook loves heaving off his 3-pointers.

My X-Factor in this series is Shawn Marion. He's played good defense this year, and his offensive output has been decent too. I care more about his defense in this series. He's got to be physical on Durant and push him around. He has to make Durant settle for jumpshots. Marion needs to be aggressive on the best pure scorer in the NBA. He won't win the battle, but he can decrease Durant's overall effectiveness in the series. That's really all you can ask for out of a defensive player when they are guarding one of the game's best.

I think this series comes down to offense. These are two offensive teams, but also two offensive teams that play a different brand of basketball. The Mavericks are the slower paced team that can control the tempo, while the Thunder are the quicker team. I think experience wins in a seven game series that is closer than what a few people will have you think.
My Pick For Series MVP
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1 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by nbageek

May 17th 2011 23:40
Dallas wins, I agree. Series will be close and last the full seven games. Dallas has better defense and consistent shooting which sets them apart here.

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