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Can Oklahoma City Advance Past San Antonio?

Can Oklahoma City Advance Past San Antonio?

Yes, yes they can. San Antonio is a great team, but people are not giving Oklahoma City enough credit. Sure, San Antonio is favored. However, this is not a lock. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook look synchronized after a 4-1 series victory over Dallas. Outside of Game Two, the two stars played very well. Durant (26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists per game) and Westbrook (26.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists) dissected the Dallas defense.

Westbrook, once thought of as selfish and an inadequate point guard, has been producing triple-doubles all year and is distributing the ball very well off the pick-and-roll. He is the key factor in this critical series. San Antonio star Kawhi Leonard will be shadowing Durant for the entire series while Westbrook will have a mismatch on whoever San Antonio puts on him. If Westbrook can continue to penetrate and make smart decisions, Oklahoma City could make this series very interesting.

While San Antonio looked very impressive in their first round sweep of Memphis, we need to keep in mind how bad Memphis truly is. This team without Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and even Brandan Wright is not close to a playoff team. Their strong start allowed them to limp into the post-season, and this has to be one of the worst playoff teams in recent memory. Any team that is starting Jordan Farmar, Matt Barnes AND an aged Vince Carter cannot compete with any playoff team, let alone San Antonio. In summary, San Antonio is still extremely impressive, but their first round series is not an indicator that they are going to walk through this post-season.

Oklahoma City and San Antonio played three times during the regular season, with San Antonio taking two of the three games. Two of the games do not count, as the Thunder rested their players in a loss and the Spurs rested their players in their only loss. I think that San Antonio will advance but in seven games. Durant and Westbrook will cause problems for San Antonio and step up to the big stage. However, the depth and experience of the entire Spurs team will eventually carry them into the conference championship.


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