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The 2012 NBA Western Conference Finals is a battle between the conference old guard San Antonio Spurs vs up and coming Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Spurs complete team game has been nothing short of total domination during sweeps over the Clippers and Utah. San Antonio's style of play represents exactly how team basketball is to be played. All players are involved. All know their roles. On defense, team quickness, rebounding skills and man to man abilities stifle opposing shooters. The Spurs held LA and Utah to a 90/ppg average. On offense, it's all about ball control setting up shooters with high percentage shots. 102.5/ppg in 8 playoff games nets 12.5 +/- per game advantage. Sinking 49.1% from the floor and 42.3% beyond the arc. Tough to beat - especially during transition play.
Oklahoma City Thunder aren't slouches either. Their popularity is growing. I barely hear the name Oklahoma City as most identify this squad as OKC. Their style is completely different. Speed and jump shots dominate offensive plays. OKC is not the dominant inside team pounding the boards. They rely on quick action and long range shots. Playoff leading shooters/scorers are outsiders - SF Durant (26.7) plus both Guards Westbrook (24.1) and Harden (17.0).
Prediction: San Antonio is better balanced in all areas. Their swarming defense will not give OKC open looks for long range jumpers. Every shot will be contested favoring big differential in transition baskets. Spurs experience and precise game play provides a huge advantage. They haven't lost a game yet. And might not the rest of the way.
San Antonio sweeps 4 very close games.
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