Nasty is in.
The San Antonio Spurs rallied around Gregg Popovich to come back and defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the 2012 Western Conference finals. Here is the schedule and predictions for the remainder of the NBA playoff series (via NBA.com).
Game 2: Tuesday, May 29th at 9:00 p.m. ET
Prediction: San Antonio has won 17 straight games, and that streak won’t be broken at the AT&T Center. Still riding the momentum from their dramatic Game 1 triumph, expect the Spurs to roll yet again and take a strangle hold on the series.
Game 3: Thursday, May 31st at 9:00 p.m. ET
Prediction: The three-headed monster that is Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden won’t die that easily. In a must-win game on its home court, Oklahoma City will make the Western finals a series with a victory.
Game 4: Saturday, June 2nd at 8:30 p.m. ET
Prediction: While the Spurs’ streak is impressive, OKC only suffered one loss in the playoffs prior to their defeat on Sunday. Durant and company are too talented to allow the Spurs to take a 3-1 series lead and will defend their home court once again.
Game 5: Monday, June 4th at 9:00 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Prediction: San Antonio is more likely to sweep the Thunder than they are to lose three straight games to them. With the series all knotted up, expect the Spurs to regain their lead with a momentum-halting win of their own.
Game 6: Wednesday, June 6th at 9:00 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Prediction: Oklahoma City is far too hungry to have their dreams of winning the NBA Finals crushed on their home floor. Not the Thunder’s stars putting the team on their back, but an equal effort from their role players will force a Game 7.
Game 7: Friday, June 8th at 9:00 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Prediction: A matchup this epic couldn’t possibly end before a decisive Game 7. As stacked as the Thunder are, San Antonio’s experience and depth will provide it with the edge that it needs to advance to the NBA championship.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.