2010/11 NBA Playoffs: The Western Conference 2nd Round

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Sunday, May 01, 2011 with No comments
The Power of Belief struck again as the Memphis Grizzlies, the 8th seed, knocked out the top seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round.  Lurking in the second round as Grizzlies opponents is the Oklahoma City Thunder whom the Grizzlies defeated 3 times out of 4 games played in the regular season.  The Thunder defeated a Nuggets team that lacked the superstar "Anthony" needed to make a deep playoff run.  Both teams have a great defensive mindset and they both share young up and coming point guards in Mike Conley Jr. and Russell Westbrook.  The x-factor in the series will be Serge Ibaka; how well he plays defense on Zach Randolph "Z-Bo" will be key.  The Spurs couldn't handle the size of the Grizzlies front court but with the additions of Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed the Thunder should be able to contain the opposing bigs.  Tony Allen is a great defender for the Grizzlies but he will have a hard time guarding the taller and more elusive Kevin Durant.  In the playoffs teams need talent as talent trumps all, the Thunder have two of the most talented players in the league in Durant and Westbrook and those two will power the Thunder into the conference finals for the first time since their Sonics days in six games.

For the first time in their long careers, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki will face each other in the playoffs.  I'll admit, I was wrong in my choice to pick the Blazers to move past Dallas but I'm not guilty of hating on the Mavs, the Cowboys yes, but not the Mavs.  What I am guilty of is not trusting the Mavs period.  They're like those numbers that you play every week in the lottery and despite a few teases here and there you never win the jackpot...ladies and gentlemen, your Dallas Mavericks!  For all of the talent and all of the regular season success year after year, the Mavs have not been able to win the NBA championship because year after year some team always find a way to punk them.  From the Heat to the Warriors, Hornets, and Spurs, it happens every year and this year will be the Lakers turn to punk the Mavs.  Lets get one thing very clear, there's no rivalry between the Lakers and Mavs as TV land will likely lead you to believe.  In order to create a rivalry you must have lengthy playoff battles, the franchise player moving from one team to another, and being in the same division helps.  Again there's no rivalry here, the Lakers have been relevant forever and the Mavs are an after thought outside of Dallas. Do you already know where I'm going with this?  The Lakers will win this series in six games and move on to face to team destined since last season's playoffs to face them, the Thunder in the western conference finals.