Re: 2011 NBA Playoffs Round 1: Thunder vs Nuggets
I honestly love both of these teams. Each has their own individual regular season story that makes their success up to this point just that much more impressive.
The Thunder are a well oiled machine right now, growing in confidence from the trades that strengthened their front court in February. The Nuggets, though just as confident and eager to go deep in the post-season, are reeling from injuries. Players like JR Smith and Martin will shoot this team out of games where an extra pass or taking seconds more off the clock to shoot in rhythm might have brought about different results. Truthfully, I'm not so sure a team that, for all intents and purposes, was Frankensteined together mid-season will have what it takes to shock the world, despite their much admired cohesiveness and team oriented approach to the game.
The Nuggets are a testament to what a team can do in the absence of any real 'face of the franchise' superstar but, in the end, I think their productivity following Melo's trade is a heartwarming story that will have to end in the first round. The Thunder are just way too hungry and eager to prove to the world that they're ready NOW, instead of waiting for the juggernauts of the west to simply die out and leave the torch behind for them to carry.
Thunder in 5.