While the Eastern Conference playoff picture has been decimated by injuries, the West's postseason outlook has more or less gone according to plan. The Western Conference Finals pits the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs against the second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, as both of the West's finest dispatched their first two opponents with the expected ease. There were no significant injuries or serious roadblocks to deal with; just the process of extinguishing the fire of lesser teams, be they the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, the ever-plucky Utah Jazz, the all-too-malleable Los Angeles Clippers or the too highly-trumpeted Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, both of these highly effective teams will have their work cut out for them; this may yet prove to be the most competitive series of the entire postseason, and considering just how limited some of the teams in the East are—due to either injury or overall construction—these Western Conference Finals may very well determine the eventual NBA champion.
In order to break down the performance of both teams and examine their potential in this particular series, we now turn to Dean Oliver's "Four Factors," the pillars of basketball. According to Oliver, the winners and losers of basketball games (and series) are determined by four areas of statistical performance, as they relate to both the offensive and defensive ends: shooting (eFG%), turnovers (TOV%), free throws (FTR) and rebounding (OREB%).