Oklahoma City Thunder-Utah Jazz: If The Playoffs Started Today
Since most people are caught up in the postseason of college basketball, I thought it would be fun to start up conversation about the postseason in the NBA.
With that in mind, why not start this whole sha-bang off with my favorite team?
If the season ended today, the Oklahoma City Thunder would take on the Utah Jazz in arguably the most intriguing first round matchup of the playoffs. The Utah Jazz would have home court advantage on account of their No. 4 seed, and the Thunder would obviously hold the No. 5 seed.
Oklahoma City has clinched this series during the regular season, winning all three games thus far. The two teams have one more game in late April, which will be in Utah.
The Thunder seem to match up well with the Jazz with their speed and length and have been able to contain Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer fairly well. However, that's in the regular season.
If any team knows how to turn it up to another level in the postseason, it would have to be the Spurs and the Jazz. Both teams are extremely experienced and know how to pace themselves to release all types of old men fury in the postseason.
Sadly, the second-year Thunder know absolutely nothing about this. They are a bunch of college kids that are used to playing around 28 games a season and then partying it up during the summer.
However, the Thunder will have a lot of energy and will most definitely be fresh and ready to go once the playoffs come.
But on the counter side of that, they will have so much adrenaline running through them because of the insane atmosphere. However, while adrenaline can help you out in some situations, it doesn't really help when you're trying to be patient and to run a smooth half-court offense.
Deron Williams against Russell Westbrook is the biggest matchup in the first round. Whoever performs better will most likely carry the team to the next round. Both teams live and die on these players. If Williams or Westbrook have a bad game, it well spell bad news for their respective teams.
Meanwhile, Carlos Boozer and Kevin Durant have pretty easy matchups and will probably get their points.
With Durant going up against Andrei Kirilenko and Boozer going up against Jeff Green, both can have big games if their point guards can get them the ball in open situations.
As far as the bench goes, I give the Thunder the nod. James Harden, Nick Collison, and Serge Ibaka are fantastic role players and are the sole reason why the Thunder have had the season they're having.
Ronnie Price and Paul Millsap are good players, but they don't match up well with the Thunder, with the possible exception of Millsap on Green.
And just in case you were wondering, Mehmet Okur vs. Nenad Krstic will probably be the most boring matchup in all of the playoffs. That's all that really needs to be said there.
I don't want to pick a winner of these two teams until the end of the season, because I honestly don't know who would win.
It's youth vs. experience. You try and pick a winner.
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