Monday, May 16, 2011

Western Conference Finals Preview

This is a classic battle of experience versus youth.

Dallas is one of the most seasoned teams in the NBA and Oklahoma City one of the youngest. Boston, Los Angeles and San Antonio have all been eliminated, leaving Dallas to carry the torch for the older generation against a league of up-and-coming teams.

Vincent Thomas is sad to see the last generation pass, and his feelings touch people who loved watching the guys play in their day.

I guess you could say that I'm more used to it.

I watched in the same pain and sadness the last days of Muhammad Ali, Reggie Jackson, Lawrence Taylor, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Walter Payton, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, Terry Bradshaw and many others.

Charles Barkley said it best, "Father Time is undefeated."

Dallas has older players who you would expect to make fewer mistakes than Oklahoma City. Due to their relative experience, they are generally smarter than Oklahoma City and know how to play winning basketball better.

Oklahoma City is much younger and much more athletic than Dallas. And due to their relative youth, they should be able to play with more energy for longer periods of time.

Rick Carlisle and Scott Brooks are both very good coaches, and the talent is pretty much equal. Both teams have outstanding players and contributors everywhere you look.

They haven't met since January, so you can throw the regular-season matchups (Dallas won 2-1) out the window because of the roster changes Oklahoma City has made since then.

No team has an edge in this series which I can see.

The NBA has evolved over the past several years and made such a quantum leap in the volume of talented players that the difference between teams is very minor and almost non-existent, and that becomes more apparent when you look at the final four teams.

This is yet another series which is unpredictable and way too close to call.

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