2016 Western Conference Finals Preview – (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (3) Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder see themselves back in the Western Conference Finals after pulling off the upset over the 67 win Spurs team. Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised considering the Thunder have two of the five best players in the NBA, but it was the play of centers Steven Adams and Enes Kanter that really did in the Spurs. Will the two big men keep up their high production against the Warriors and their small ball lineups?

It’s easy to see why the Thunder are good. They have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. But maybe there’s more to this team than just those two. There will have to be for this Thunder team to beat Golden State. Guys like Andre Roberson and Randy Foye will have to contribute something. Dion Waiters will need to have a couple of good games. Adams and Kanter won’t be as effective as they were against San Antonio so they’ll have to find productions form other areas on the roster.

The Warriors last series didn’t go as planned. Although they won in 5 games, they trailed for most of the series. But Curry did miss a few games and was a little rusty in the two he played in. However he looked better in ever in overtime of game 4 where he scored 17 points to give his team the win in Portland. That was the team everyone was afraid of. That’s the team no one can beat. Is that the team we’ll see?

Key Matchup: Draymond Green vs. Serge Ibaka

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Ibaka keeps improving his jumper and he’ll force Green to stay with him if he’s guarding him. But the other end is what makes this matchup so important. Ibaka is their best bet at guarding Green and interrupting his direction of the Golden State offense. But that will require him to leave the rim and sacrifice his best defensive skill, shot blocking.

The Pick: Warriors in 5

The Thunder are a really good team built for playoff success. The Warriors are better. Their versatility neutralizes any advantage a team thinks it might have. Even if Durant and Westbrook have great series, the Thunder’s supporting cast will struggle.

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