2012 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference 2nd Round

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Monday, May 14, 2012 with 2 comments
   I must say that the Clippers impressed me by moving past the Grizzlies in the 1st round because I didn't see that happening with that being said, the road to the NBA Finals has gotten much more difficult for the "new kids" on the block as they now face the rested Spurs.  Spurs guard Tony Parker had an incredible year and Chris Paul has always been spectacular and this will be a great match up of point guard play.  Can the Clippers match the Spurs height?  Based on them matching the Grizzlies, I will say yes.  Tim Duncan is still efficient but he can't be great on a nightly basis, one just never knows game in and game out what Duncan will deliver and that's why the play of Tony Parker is so important, he is the Spurs engine.

The Clippers will have an abundance of wings who can check Mano Ginobili and also Danny Green....more pressure on Parker.  The Spurs have been one of the hottest teams in the league but the Clippers believe it or not have more weapons and I'm not even speaking of Blake Griffen.  This season the Spurs adopted an offensive game and relied less on their defense but this series they must turn back the clock on their defense
because trying to run with the Clippers may be fatal.  With head coach Greg Popovich on their side will give the Spurs a great advantage but the youth and athleticism of the Clippers will prove to be too much and the Los Angeles Clippers will move on to the Western Conference Finals.

They have waited two years for this opportunity after they walked off their court in 2010, one rebound away from forcing a game 7 in Los Angeles and perhaps defeating the defending NBA champion Lakers.  It was that 1st round matchup when the league took notice of the monster growing in OKC.  The Thunder had arrived and since that moment Lakers fans have been worried that this day may come and well, the time is now.  It was bound to happen.  

The Thunder have rested since an easy dispatching of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks while the Lakers fought off a pesky Nuggets team in 7 games.  Game 1 will set the tone in this series due to the fact that the Lakers lasted played Saturday evening while the Thunder hasn't played in almost two weeks so the question is who will be sharper?  Kobe Bryant has played great and so has Bynum and Gasol......on some nights.  Kevin Durant has been his normal spectacular self while Russell Westbrook has continued to ascend to be known as one of the best point guards in the NBA.  

The Lakers are big, too big for many teams, but their bigs just don't show up enough, maybe one each per game but rarely both in the same game.  Kobe can will the Lakers a game or two just off of sheer will but can his supporting cast step up?  The injury of Kendrick Perkins will affect the series but remember, when these two teams faced off before, the Thunder didn't have Perkins and the Lakers were the better team and the struggled.  The Thunder will achieve the revenge that they seek and will move on.