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After the San Antonio Spurs' miserable end to the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to grab the top seed in the Western Conference. They will face the Houston Rockets in the first round, who are being led by former Thunder James Harden.
Because it will be Harden going up against his old team, that makes this series exciting.
Both teams can put a ton of points up on the scoreboard. They are two of the best offensive teams in the league. Actually, the Rockets averaged more points per game than the Thunder this season.
The big difference is the defense. The Thunder have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and the Rockets don't have an answer on defense for them.
Meanwhile, Harden has been pretty Jekyll and Hyde against his old team this season.
James Harden's stats against the Thunder this season
Nov. 28: 3-of-16 from the field, 17 points, three assists, two rebounds (LOSS)
Dec. 29: 6-of-17 from the field, 25 points, one assists, three rebounds (LOSS)
Feb. 20: 14-of-19 from the field, 46 points, six assists, seven rebounds (LOSS)
In the end, the Rockets defense is going to allow the Thunder to win this series easily. But I see Harden and the Rockets offense taking two games in this series. Those two wins will be when the Rockets offense is clicking and the Thunder let up on the gas a little bit.
Prediction: 4-2 Oklahoma City Thunder