NBA: Western Conference predictions
The Los Angeles teams finally have survived grueling first-round series, so we can get on the Western Conference semifinals of the NBA playoffs.
THUNDER vs. LAKERS
Jeff van Gundy, who I love to listen to, keeps tossing in the Lakers as an NBA title threat. I don’t get it. The Lakers are old and dysfunctional and thin. What the Lakers are is tall. And the Thunder has superb interior defense; the pick-and-roll will give the Thunder fits, but that’s not the Laker game.
The one question is Kendrick Perkins’ health. If Gran Torino can’t go, the Thunder will have a tussle on its hands. Otherwise, I see this series ending sooner rather than later.
Thunder in five.
SPURS vs. CLIPPERS
The Clippers just produced perhaps their greatest victory since moving from Buffalo 34 years ago, a Game 7 road win at Memphis. And the Clippers had the full support of San Antonio.
The Spurs are not like the Grizzlies. The Spurs can score. The Clippers are not great defenders but looked like it against Memphis, which was offensively-challenged. The Spurs have Tony Parker playing at an MVP level, Manu Ginobili up to his usual offensive tricks, Tim Duncan still a force (if not a superstar like the old days) and a host of guys that can do things to put the ball in the basket.
This does not set up well for the Clippers.
Spurs in five.
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