Sports Perspective: NBA Playoff picture - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Sports Perspective: NBA Playoff picture

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Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:42 am

The NBA Playoffs are in full swing. It is down to the final four teams as they head for the conference finals. In the west, there are no surprises as the top two seeded teams advance to their conference finals. However, there has been a slight upset in the east with the Boston Celtics making it this far. The early season favorites; San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat have proven their dominance not only in the regular season, but also throughout the playoffs thus far.

The powerhouses of the west, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, have coasted through their competition so far in the playoffs. To this point, the teams have  only one playoff loss between them out of the seventeen games they’ve played. Now, with all of that behind them, both teams face a difficult task. The veteran and extremely talented Spurs have earned themselves as much rest as possible by winning every game so far in the playoffs. On the other hand, the young and energetic Thunder look like they could play for months without a day off.

Finally matched up with one another, both teams face their own problems. The aging Spurs who are playing arguably their best basketball of the season, must stay fresh and healthy in order to compete with the talent heavy Thunder. If they are able to do this, the Spurs will have a very promising chance at not only knocking off the Thunder, but even a shot at another NBA championship. The Spurs last championship came in 2007 and this year could very possibly be the last legitimate shot the Spurs big three, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have at winning another one together.

The inexperienced and rambunctious Thunder have finally met their match in a team that plays very different basketball than they do. The Thunder are a relatively fast paced team which looks to outrun their opponent with every opportunity they get. With stars such as, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, it is hard to believe that any team can contain them. However, the Spurs play a much more balanced game and may be able to outlast the Thunder. In order for the Thunder to move past the Spurs and possibly win their first NBA championship, they must be more patient and defend every possession.

All the attention in the east has been on the Miami Heat and rightfully so. After losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals last year, the Heat are ready to win the championship that they think is rightfully theirs. However, standing in their way are the Boston Celtics. The Celtics just seem to never go home. A veteran packed team led by, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are on a mission to win another NBA championship together. However, the Miami Heat, led by Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are going to be hard to beat. Similar to the matchup in the west, the Heat are a fairly young team who looks to outrun their opponent, while the Celtics rely on the fundamentals and strong play of their veterans.

In this intriguing matchup, the Celtics must keep up with the fast paced Heat while they rely on their veterans and strong point guard, Rajon Rondo. The Heat, who have been on a mission since their loss in the finals last year, look to continue their fast paced game and outrun the Celtics.

Now, in the homestretch of the NBA playoffs, we will see veteran versus young. Both match-ups display a strong veteran team which has won a championship together, against a talented but inexperienced team looking for their first championship together. Which will prove more successful?

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