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Well, with the Chicago and Miami series underway, and the Thuner-Mavs series set to start today, lets look at how these two teams stack up.
Head Coach:Rick Carlisle VS Scott Brooks
-Advantage: Mavs, Rick Carlisle has alot more esperience than scott brooks. He has coached 3 different teams,(Pistons, Pacers, and now the Mavs), and was a player, who won a championship in 1986. The man knows what it takes to win.
PG: Jason Kidd VS Russell Westbrook
-Advantage: OKC, easily. Kidd is the more experienced and better point guard, but Westbrook's age compared to Kidd's just ends the debate there. This is probable the worst position to have an old point guard, as defense is definatly needed at this position. Westbrook might not have the experience to compete, or the mentality, but he is younger, and can explode to the rim, which will cause huge problems for Dallas. They might look to J.J. Barea in this one.
SG: DeShawn Stevenson VS Thabo Sefolosha
-Advantage: TIE. Both players are in the starting lineup mostly BECAUSE of their defense, and will be expected to alternate with subs frequently.
SF: Shawn Marion VS Kevin Durant
-Advantage: OKC, easily, Durant is taller, younger, stronger, and has a great shooting touch. However, Shawn Marion's defense is ok, and Dallas will look to stop Durant.
PF: Dirk Nowitzki VS Serge Ibaka
-Advantage:DALLAS, simply put, Dirk has a way of throwing PF's off their game. He gets them to take fadeaway jumpers, as shown in the Lakers-Mavs series with gasol, and can make buckets rain. Even with Serge Ibaka at defense, expect Dirk to dominate this matchup.
C: Tyson Chandler VS Kendrick Perkins
-Advantage: Dallas. Tyson Chandler has 87 rebounds in these playoffs, and 36 of those have come from offensive rebounds. Perkins is a big factor though, and Tyson Chandler only has the advantage by a tiny bit. This could change easily.
BENCH: DALLAS VS OKC
-Advantage: Dallas, if you haven't heard of J. Terry, P. Stojakavic, B. Haywood, and J.J. Barea, then you will be intoduced to them in this series. Jason and peja can and WILL make it rain 3's, and J.J. Barea is QUICKER than Westbrook, though not as skilled. Nick Collison and James harden can simply just not compete with the Dallas bench, who they will surely look for to give J. Kidd some time to rest after running after Westbrook.
Other Factors: Age, Experience, Mentality, Momentum. Dallas has 3 of these 4 things needed to win, and the age problem will be solved by their young bench. Dallas has much more experience, led by veterans, much more focused mentality, after losing a 2-0 lead to the Heat in 2006, and momentum if given to them, after sweeping the lakers, and gettin 2 weeks off to rest, while the Thunder come off a 7 Game series with the 8 seed, and 2 DAYS later are expected to do it all over again. It may seem as if Dallas has this entire game conquered, but all it takes is a switch of momentum, an injury(Westbrook is nothing without Durant), and everything could change. However, Dallas wins the Other Factors matchup.
Final Prediction: Dallas in 5 or 6. Dallas has had 2 weeks off to rest and plan, they are led by veterans who know how to win (and choke), which is the main reason they will win. OKC has heart, but simply put, they will not win it this year, possibly not even next year when the lakers regroup and zone in on another ring. Dallas is poised to win it all, as long as they don't choke like they did to Miami in 2006.