While sports prognosticators forecast an Eastern Conference Finals full of egos, technical fouls and flops, the Western Conference has provided basketball fans everywhere with the prospect of a seven-game series worth salivating over. San Antonio and Oklahoma City are both incredibly likable, immensely talented teams led by low-key superstars and superb supporting casts. And, while it’s incredibly difficult to sit here and pick the better of the two teams with much confidence, we here at TSS will do our best to provide you with some storylines to consider before tonight’s Game 1 tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
1. OKC could very well have the two best players in the series. With all due respect to Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook has the potential to play at a higher level. When his jump shot is going – as it was against L.A. – there are few tougher covers in basketball. Point guard? Shooting guard? Doesn’t matter. As long as he keeps making buckets and keeping defenses honest, OKC boasts a two-headed monster that will keep Coach Pop up at night.
2. San Antonio has better depth, though. Even with Sixth Man of the Year James Harden, Oklahoma City can’t match San Antonio depth-wise. Manu Ginobili is still Manu Ginobili and that bench is chock-full of young impact players. Kawhi Leonard, Dejuan Blair and Tiago Splitter represent the future in San Antonio but they’re finding ways to contribute right now. Derrick Fisher and Daquan Cook don’t inspire as much confidence.