Tag Archives: OKC Thunder

NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals Predictions

Tomorrow the NBA Playoffs move onto the conference finals. While the match ups don’t necessarily surprise anyone, these series’ are sure to be nothing short of exciting. In the East, we’ve got the two-time defending champs Miami Heat against an up-and-coming bunch in the Indiana Pacers. On the other side, the West features the young and explosive Oklahoma City Thunder who will take on the experienced and wise San Antonio Spurs. Both of these are poised to be full of amazing basketball, but here’s my analysis of what I think will happen between each of these teams.

Eastern Conference Finals: #1 Indiana Pacers vs. #2 Miami Heat

Here we go, the Eastern Conference match up that everyone’s been waiting for. After last year’s series went to the Heat, the Pacers are hoping to get revenge and reach the finals after they mastered the regular season. However, the Heat aren’t going to go away that easily. LeBron’s been having another spectacular postseason and has shown people why he could be playoffs MVP. The Heat haven’t been too flashy this postseason, but they’ve gotten the job done with quality wins and great play from many of their players. On the other side, the Pacers have struggled a little, especially since they narrowly escaped a first-round upset. Hibbert has been lackluster at best, and doesn’t show too much potential for the rest of the playoffs. These teams split their season series with two wins each, but I’m not expecting it to be that close this time around. With that, I’m taking the Miami Heat to take this series in 6 games (but wouldn’t be surprised if they did it in 5).

Heat vs Pacers

Western Conference Finals: #1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #2 Oklahoma City Thunder

Many people are calling this “the Spurs year” because of their aging superstars and their consistent play once again. But, it seems like the past four years have been “their year” and they’ve failed to convert each time. That’s not to say they don’t have the potential, because they’ve been playing just as consistently as the Heat have and do so in a dominating manner. In terms of the Thunder, they just suffered a huge loss finding out that Serge Ibaka isn’t gonna be able to play for the remainder of the playoffs. He is a regular contributor and is an integral part to the OKC offense. However, with Durant, I think this team can do anything, especially with a healthy Westbrook. The Thunder have depth and they’ll prove this by having their next-man-up step into the role. Between these two teams, the Thunder won all four games that they played against each other. While OKC is going to miss Ibaka, I’m going to take the Thunder in 7 games to have KD’s MVP season continue.

Thunder vs. Spurs

If these predictions hold up, then we’ll have a Thunder-Heat Finals match up. KD vs. The King. Durant vs. LeBron. Two of the best players in the game right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these teams make it to the Finals and, no matter what, we’re going to have an awesome end to the NBA Playoffs.

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Why Durant Won the MVP

“MVP! MVP! MVP!” That’s what the fans in Chesapeake Energy Arena will be chanting on Wednesday night now that their star forward, Kevin Durant, has won his first MVP award. With yet another scoring title this year, Durant made a strong showing for why he deserved this MVP. Though his scoring was a huge reason why he won, there were several other reasons that contributed to his success. Below I’ll outline some of the many ways that Durant made his season so special.

1. Points on Points on Points.

As I mentioned before, Durant took home another regular season scoring title, his fourth in five years. There was a point in Durant’s 30+ point scoring streak when some of us thought he might have a chance to break Wilt’s record of 65 straight games, but let’s be real, nobody’s going to touch that record.  Nonetheless, Durant’s 41 straight games of 25+ scoring is extremely impressive. This year, he won the scoring record by an astounding 4.6 points per game with 32 points per game, and is continuing his brilliance in the postseason with 29.3 points per game. It’s old news, but Durant is a straight baller and can score pretty much whenever he wants to. As a final note, this is also the first year since Allen Iverson in the 2000-2001 season that someone has won both the scoring title and MVP in the same season.

Kevin Durant dunk

2. All Quiet on the Westbrook Front

This season, Russell Westbrook missed a total of 36 games, compared to Durant’s single missed game. During part of Durant’s remarkable scoring streak, Westbrook missed 16 of them and the Thunder went 14-2. This means that more teams focused their defense on stopping KD, but he was still able to manage 25+ points on a consistent basis. Westbrook’s absence gave Durant a huge opportunity to fine-tune his skills and make his moves that much more impressive which will help him and the Thunder tremendously in the future. Many analysts think the Thunder are just fine without Westbrook, but he takes heat away from Durant and is able to create more scoring opportunities for the team.

Durant and Westbrook

3. Versatility

Kevin Durant is one of the few people in this league that can play a number of different positions on any given night. Whether it’s taking the ball down the court as a point guard, posting up in the paint, or facilitating scoring for other team members, Durant can do it all. In this his seventh season, the Durantula had higher averages for all the major categories (points, rebounds, assists, shooting percentage) than MJ had in his seventh season. If he’s got better stats than Air Jordan, then that’s got to be a great season.

Kevin Durant

Over his career, KD has shown us why he’s one of the premier players in the league and this year he demonstrated his abilities on a whole new level that set him apart from the rest. But now that he’s got his MVP under the belt, the question that everyone is going to start asking is, “When will he be an NBA champion?” For now, let’s just revel in the great season Durant had and congratulate him for the outstanding performance. Congrats on the MVP, Kevin Durant!