WC PLAYOFFS RD 1 : (2)OKC THUNDER vs (7)DAL MAVERICKS
KEY ROTATION PLAYERS:
Coaching and experience. OKC obviously has more talent and chemistry, but I'll take Rick Carlisle over Scott Brooks everytime. Dallas has a deep bench, whereas OKC has a bench with one star and guys who know how to play their role and play them well. I think Carlisle will be able to better adjust as usual with his lineups than Brooks, as DAL can matchup with OKCs best lineup with KD at the 4 pretty well.
Russell Westbrook vs Delonte West. I don't see Kidd guarding Westbrook as Kidds biggest strengths defensively now are guarding SGs and with help defence, so I think West will be on Westbrook with Kidd playing whatever side of the floor the ball is on 'guarding' Sefolosha. West is the kind of defender that can give Westbrook problems with his strength and quickness.
Dirk Nowitzki vs the world. This is probably the biggest key to the series. Dallas doesn't have as many consistant options to go to as last year and their chemistry isnt as good overall, so I think the only way for them to really be able to win 4 games is if Dirk goes God mode again against the Thunder, which then gets his shooters open. Does Dirk still have another playoff run like last years ridicilous run left in him?
OKC in 6.If Westbrook isn't more mature after the beating he took in the social atmosphere after the DAL series and chucks up shots again that lose his team the game late in games then he'll be straight on the Marbury/Francis path to being a career loser. OKCs chemistry is better than last year, and they're a better team than last year. It's hard for me to believe Dallas can just turn it on because their interior D isnt what it was last year nor do they have the same mix of players. This should be one of the most entertaining series of the 1st rd.