Does A Western Conference Team Have A Chance At Winning The NBA Finals?
Now that we know who will be playing in the Western Conference finals after the Oklahoma City Thunder squeaked past the rugged Memphis Grizzlies in seven games, questions must arise as to whether or not either the Dallas Mavericks or the Thunder have a real chance to win the NBA championship.
For most, it is a forgone conclusion that either the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat will take home the hardware when it is all said and done. But is it really that easy to write off the Mavs and the Thunder?
The short answer is yes.
Although the Mavericks knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers with a four-game sweep, nobody outside of Dallas truly believes Dirk and company can beat either Chicago or Miami. Which might sound a little crazy considering the way they clobbered the defending champions. But the Mavericks and their well rested bodies should be tougher than most anticipate. With the addition of Tyson Chandler, the Mavs are solid in the middle as Jason Terry and Jason Kidd patrol the perimeter. They’ll sorely miss the versatility of Caron Butler, but should not be totally written off. However, Miami and Chicago shouldn’t have much of a problem with Dallas as there are no answers for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James or Derrick Rose.
Oklahoma City may have the best chance to win an NBA title out of the two Western Conference teams. With dynamic scorer Kevin Durant, an athletic point guard in Russell Westbrook, size in the middle with Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka and some off the bench punch with James Harden, the Thunder are as dangerous as either the Bulls and the Heat. The problem is that Oklahoma City had a grueling seven game set with #8 seed Memphis and it’s not going to get any easier with Dallas. Their youth could also serve to be problematic as nobody on that squad has big game experience. Although the same can be said for Chicago, the Bulls have more experienced pieces that set them up for the NBA’s best record during the regular season. Unless the Thunder can pull it together now, it’s unlikely they will be able to upend either the Bulls or the Heat.
Should we count the Western Conference out? Not completely, but as of right now, it’s not looking good.