The longer the series, the better the chance that the Oklahoma City Thunder take the 2nd round Western Conference match-up between these two outstanding combatants. The reasoning? San Antonio has a base of older players that would feel the wear and tear of a longer series. The fact of the matter is that OKC might wear down the likes of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan . Fresher legs in the names of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Dion Waiters and the rest give the Thunder an advantage in a longer run in this knock-out round in the West
Things to take into account:
Can Kawhi Leonard, the best player on the Spurs, shut down Kevin Durant?
Can Russell Westbrook dominate his point guard position over Tony Parker?
Will the bigs of Enes Kanter, Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams of OKC take the day over the bigs of the Spurs?
Will the home court be the difference in a seven game series?
Does the injury card play a significant role in the final outcome of this spectacular meeting?
Because both teams are familiar with each other, will the coaching edge of Greg Popovich and his staff be the deal breaker for the Thunder?
The answers to these questions will have been answered in a couple of weeks or less. The winner gets to take their abilities into the next round against the Golden State/Portland winner. To predict a Spurs win would tell me that Parker is effective and the defense of the older team has won the day in the final minutes of four games. And San Antonio stays healthy. For OKC, they have to win on the road, and they might have to do it twice. The Spurs will challenge OKC on Reno Street. Durant and Westbrook are key, but not in just scoring. Westbrook needs to approach a triple double in each contest and Durant can’t allow Leonard to take his game away, especially in crunch time.
The case can be made for either team in this series. I like younger legs and will go with OKC in seven.
Feature Photo: San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, right, drives around Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, left, in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Photo: Sue Ogrocki, AP