Who's Going to Pull Off the Upset: 2nd Round Western Conference Predictions
Spurs vs. Clippers
Can the Clippers pull of the upset of the Spurs?
Spurs vs. Clippers: The Clippers just capped off a grueling yet ridiculously exciting playoff series against the Grizzlies and are now rewarded with a second round date with a juggernaut of a Spurs team.
The Clippers are going to have to play a perfect series to beat the Spurs, but it can be done. Contrary to what you might think, the Clipper’s best way to beat San Antonio is not by running and gunning, but by slowing down the tempo and using Griffin, Jordan, Martin and Evans to dominate the low post.
This Spurs team is not your father's grind down, defensive stopping team that won four titles. This new incarnation of the Spurs relies heavily on Parker and Ginobili running and gunning and putting up points. If the Clippers try to play their patented lob city style of basketball, they will lose. As great as Chris Paul is he just can't go two on one against Parker and Ginobili.
Prediction: Spurs in 6 and expect a few heavyweight battles between Chris Paul and
Thunder vs. Lakers
LA and OKC are ready for a 2nd round slug fest
Thunder vs. Lakers: This match up has been a few years in the making, ever since OKC took the Lakers to six games during the first round of their 2010 championship run. The storylines are already built in, World Peace vs. Harden, World Peace vs. the fans, Kobe vs. Durant, old guard vs. new guard. And Metta World has already begun adding gas to the fire by saying he will not shake hands with a substitute player (Harden).
The Thunder go into the series as a strong favorite, but by no means are a lock to advance. Los Angeles has plenty of ways to beat the Thunder, who could very well enter the series rusty and with out urgency since they have not played in almost two weeks since sweeping the Mavericks.
If Kobe can score efficiently, and if Bynum and Gasol can continue to commit to dominating the interior, L.A matches up well with the young and energetic Thunder. But regardless of the outcome this matchup will be the gem of the second round and a can’t miss series. Prediction: Lakers in 7