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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Pre-take: 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals

05/16/2016 10:20:10 AM

Say, I have been missing a lot on the world of basketball. It's like the last time I have written a prediction on the ongoing NBA playoffs was barely three years ago. And now, here we go to the conference finals.

The Oklahoma City Thunder was on the verge of winning their first crown since 70s (as Seattle Supersonics), and plots on tasking revenge against LeBron James in the 2012 NBA Finals.

But they have a gigantic task to deal—that is to dethrone the current NBA Champions Golden State Warriors, whom are seeking back-to-back titles for the first time in franchise history.

They have dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers last year in a six game series; thus, depriving the latter's another chance to take home the Larry O'Brien trophy while at the same time, reclaiming the big one they have won in 1975.

It will be one tough road for high-scorers Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to fare up with the Splash Brothers, plus a massive supporting crew that has been rocking with small ball offensive playbook.

Oklahoma City fans should also rock the house down come Games 3 and 4, as the Oracle Arena has been one of the loudest (if not the loudest alone) NBA venues right now.

While regular season matchup and standings dictate which team will garner more advantage, this will be their third head-to-head collision course at their history—the first since Seattle moved to Oklahoma. Interestingly, both were actually even on each other, with GSW winning against SEA in the 1975 west semifinals, and Sonics defeated the Warriors in the first round of 1992.

However, this season, the MVP award winner Curry has been the problem for the Warriors. He scored 35 points per game in all of their three meetings this season—with one of them scoring 46 off a record-tying 12 3-pointers. And that helped them get past the Thunder in all of those games. Ouch.

OKC has to cut their turnovers, and half of them will be enforced to the duo of Durant-Westbrook. They also to score during crunch time. They were badly beaten at the endgame despite leading after three quarters, or at least having a nail-biting fight. How should they do so? Take it to the coaching tactics, as well as how to control the minutes of Durant and Westbrook—while at the same time—making the other guys do effective work. That should make the scorers more effective, especially KD on dribble penetration.

A Thunder win could erase Warriors winning season. But as far as the probability is more concerned, I think Golden State will take a first step en route to a back-to-back Finals appearance, a potential second straight Finals showdown with the Cavaliers, and even taking a 2-peat World trophy.

Author: slickmaster | (c) 2016 september twenty-eight productions 

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