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Western Conference Finals

Discussion in 'OKC Thunder Talk' started by Quik Sand, May 15, 2011.

  1. Quik Sand

    Quik Sand New Member

    The matchup is now set. Dallas was playing at a tremendous level after sweeping LA. I say was because who knows if they will keep that up after being off for awhile. A little bit about each player matchups.

    Westbrook vs. Kidd - After two rounds of facing smaller quick PG's in Lawson and Conley, Westbrook will now face future hall of famer Jason Kidd. Kidd is crafty, slow, and a good stand still three point shooter. I prefer to see Westbrook go underneath the screens to help fight against his passing. Kidd will be almost reluctant to shoot the majority of the time from a pick n roll play. Kidd likes to get his shots from ball rotation and stand still three pointers. Westbrook must push the ball at all times to wear both Kidd out and the rest of the Mavs. Kidd is a much stronger PG for Westbrook to face, but the footspeed is not there to stay in front.

    Thabo vs. Stevenson - Thabo's minutes should again be limited as Stevenson is not a threat to score from the two guard position. He is a decent stand still three point shooter, but is not going to break a defense down and create opportunities for others. Caron Butler would have changed this as he is a solid scoring option and Thabo's minutes would need to be up trying to slow him down.

    KD vs. Marion - Marion, while being a solid defender, is not the physical defender that KD normally struggles with (Artest / Allen / Battier). Dallas plays better team defense than Denver did so while KD should have a somewhat easier time getting shots it will not be like the Denver series. Marion gets his points from scraps mainly at this point in his career and while KD should not fall asleep defending him, he should have an easier go than chasing around Denver's sharp shooters.

    Ibaka vs. Dirk - This is the key matchup of the series. Dirk has been on a tear this postseason. I would like to think that Ibaka's length would bother Dirk a bit, but my concern is Dirk upfaking and creating fouls on Serge. Serge will have to be more disciplined in this series than he ever has. Dirk guarding Ibaka on the other end will also be key. Serge needs to do his best to get Dirk in foul trouble and also crash the boards on him. Ibaka is becoming known in the league for his helpside blocks. This will be a major challenge as he cannot leave Dirk to help.

    Perkins vs. Chandler - The matchup of could have been vs. current Thunder centers. Chandler has made a tremendous difference for the Mavs. He is long and athletic and will alter shots when the Thunder come into the lane. As fans we need to see Perk block out instead of just going for the rebound. If Perk just tries to rebound the ball, Chandler will eat him alive. This will be the first true shot blocker the Thunder have faced this playoffs.

    Sixth Man
    Harden vs. Terry - This should be a great match between two players that are paramount to their team's success. The Thunder will need Harden to match what Terry brings. Terry brings playmaking ability and can be a big problem on fast breaks. With no real inside presence, the Thunder will need to stay at home on the perimeter as Terry is primarily a jumpshooter.

    This next series is so contrasting to what we faced that it is amazing. Memphis lacked perimeter play, but made up for it with gritty play and a dominant inside game. Dallas is perimeter oriented with no real inside presence (Dirk will post up). Dallas (similar to Denver) is loaded with snipers and the Thunder will have to be disciplined on ball rotations. Dallas killed LA with this.

    Thunder really need to get a split to open the series. Dallas is a really good road team and is very capable of winning at our place.

    I would like to hear from our resident Mavs fans on this board about the matchups and other comments. Should be a fun series!
  2. OUMallen

    OUMallen New Member

    No one will stop Dirk, and that's OK. We just need to limit everyone else on the floor and be seriously athletic and push the ball as much as possible. We *have* to wear them down in that manner. We can't go half-court v. half-court against them.

    I love the Thunder about as much as the Sooners, but I think DAL in 6 on this one and it won't feel that close.
  3. silverwheels

    silverwheels SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Yeah Dallas just owns OKC, unfortunately. Then again, so did Memphis before that series. Should be interesting.
  4. soonerbub

    soonerbub New Member

    Nice breakdown. We just need to ride the wave & steal Game 1.

    This **** is BANANAS
  5. SapulpaSooner

    SapulpaSooner New Member

    We are in it to win it
  6. colleyvillesooner

    colleyvillesooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Agree on the breakdowns and the fact that Dirk will get his. Stopping Terry (or letting Terry stop himself) will be the key. That and keeping Chandler out of early foul trouble.

    Mavs in 6, but OKC will battle. Weird to not root for a team from Oklahoma, but no problem rooting against a team lead by a Whorn. Don't know how y'all sleep at night. ;)
  7. yankee

    yankee New Member

    Great breakdown Quiksand, though I agree with Mallen. Dirk will get his, and thats just something we'll have to live with. It's containing and being physical with the supporting cast. They've been fantastic in these playoffs, but I don't think they can keep that pace going. We're not an old unathletic team like the Lakers. If we can play focused, we can expose the Mavs (no real true number 2 go to guy).
  8. oumartin

    oumartin New Member

    Dallas wins game one then their age gets them. OKC in 6
  9. ouleaf

    ouleaf New Member

    Nice analysis

    To me the key to the Mavs winning this series are:

    1) Containing Westbrook - The Mavs simply have no one on their roster that can match him athletically or speed-wise. The Mavs have to limit his chances at getting the ball out in transition. Look for the Carlisle to throw Kidd, Barea, Stevenson, and possibly Terry at him to slow him down.

    2) Defensive Rebounding - The Mavs play pretty good team defense, but they can be sometimes be lazy on the defensive glass. The Mavs simply cannot afford to give OKC second chance opportunities. Plus, good rebounding will allow the Mavs to get the ball out in transition to Kidd, who is still one of the best in the league at running a fast break

    3) Dallas Bench - This has really been a huge key for the Mavs success this season and even more so in the playoffs. They will have to continue to produce for the Mavs to advance. To think what this team could role out with if they had a healthy Caron Butler. It is without question the best bench in the league. Jet Terry definitely found his shooting touch during the Lakers series. Here is hoping he still has it against OKC. Aside from Dirk, he is really the only Mav that has the ability to explode for 30+ points in a game.

    J.J. Barea killed the Lakers on the high pick and roll. When Peja is locked in, he can be deadly from the perimeter. Haywood has upped his level of play during the playoffs, and he has been very solid when Chandler is out. You might even see Brewer come in for a few spot minutes to help defend KD if Marion gets in foul trouble.

    4) Carlisle - While he has been heavily criticized at times this season, he has done a good job this playoffs, with the game 4 in Portland being the only exception. He is a good X's and O's guy, and look for him to exploit any mismatches he feels are out there. The offense will run through Dirk, either getting him in isolation around the free throw line, or in the two man game with Terry or Kidd/Barea. If they don't double Dirk will hopefully show the same versatility he has in mixing it up between driving or knocking down the fadeaway jumper

    Look for him to use Kidd's size/strength advantage if Westbrook covers him and post him up to get looks close to the bucket or to draw double teams and kick it to the open guy. Also need to watch for the Kidd/Chandler alley-oop monster jam. Nothing can change the momentum of a game when they connect on one of those.
  10. Quik Sand

    Quik Sand New Member

    Good breakdown. I agree the Mavs bench is great. I actually think that OKC's bench is the second best behind them. Maynor is Mr. Steady, Cook is a sniper, Collison is intangibles, Mohammed is a wal, and Harden is the X factor. Dallas counters that better than anyone.

    At first thought you would think that Westbrook should dominate this series. I went back and looked how he fared against Dallas and he is averaging about 14 points per game and porous shooting. He will need to be more under control and finish better for OKC to win.
  11. ouleaf

    ouleaf New Member

    Yes, Westbrook could use another year or two to really fine tune his game, and in general that is another key factor in this series...Experience. Experience in that the Thunder don't have much of it and the Mavs have a surplus of it. However, experience doesn't always mean success.

    Westbrook is a completely different animal than anything the Mavs will have faced so far this playoffs. About the only guy I can even think would have some similarities physically that they have faced might be Shannon Brown with the Lakers, and Westbrook is waaayyy better than Brown.
  12. boomersooner28

    boomersooner28 SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Charles Barkley is a dick-knuckle.

    OKC Wins.

    The End.
  13. Mike Stoops

    Mike Stoops New Member

    When did Dallas become this unbeatable juggernaut? They ran into an aging LA team that imploded at the right time. Dirk is one of the biggest chokers in NBA history.
  14. GrapevineSooner

    GrapevineSooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

  15. GrapevineSooner

    GrapevineSooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    And by that last comment, I mean that Dallas' past playoff failures can't be all pinned on Dirk.

    I'd submit that Jason Terry's failure to show up has had more of an impact than anything Dirk's done.

    That having been said, he has been playing at a higher level than I think I've seen him play at in any other playoffs. And in the end that, combined with Dallas being more of a complete team, is what should prove to be the difference.

    That having been said, if Westbrook has many games where he's in double figures in points and assists and keeps his turnovers down, OKC's got a real shot.

    That is why they play the games afterall.

    But if forced to make a pick, I'll echo colley and go Dallas in 6.
  16. GrapevineSooner

    GrapevineSooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Also, Ben and Skin, a radio show here in Dallas pointed out that in Dallas' two wins in OKC this year, the Mavs overcame 4th quarter deficits by outscoring the Thunder in the 4th by totals of 36-24 and 24-12.

    That last win came with Dirk having played only 11 minutes before leaving in the 2nd quarter.
  17. Ruf/Nek7

    Ruf/Nek7 New Member

    Nobody has even mentioned Corey Brewer and the defense he brings to the court. Also, Maynard is another quick, shifty point that has the potential to score like westbrook, just lacks the experience. Its going to be a great series nonetheless.
  18. ouleaf

    ouleaf New Member

    Yes I did

    Honestly though, i would not to expect to see him a whole lot. I'd say you're only likely to see him if Marion gets into foul trouble, which he usually does not.

    Mavs will run mostly 9 deep w/Brewer, Cardinal, and Mahinmi only called upon in the rarest of situations.
  19. GrapevineSooner

    GrapevineSooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    In Cardinal's case, it'll be to set a screen in garbage time that's meant to simply **** the Thunder off.
  20. Quik Sand

    Quik Sand New Member

    I agree. Thunder goes 10 deep with a few more options if needed.


    Options: Robinson, Ivey

    Both benches are superb and are easily the two best in the league.

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