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Oklahoma City Thunder Playoff Predictions: A Fan’s Take

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The Oklahoma City Thunder are 5-5 over the last ten games. With the playoffs starting up in the next couple of weeks, it is time to get things turned around and straightened out before the Thunder find themselves going from first in the West to first eliminated in the postseason.

Here is a look at the dangers that the Thunder will face when the postseason begins.

If things play out like they have been, the Oklahoma City Thunder will end up the second seed in the West and play, more than likely, the Dallas Mavericks. It has been only one year since Dallas knocked the Thunder out of the playoffs in the Western Conference Finals and this would be a nice chance for revenge. The Thunder won the series against Dallas, 3-1, but the Mavericks can never be counted out.

A better scenario would be to move back to No. 1 and face a team like the Phoenix Suns or Houston Rockets in the first round.

Moving on, if the Thunder are the second seed, and get past Dallas, they will face the winner of the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers series. Now, there is a chance the Clippers pass the Lakers, but don't expect that to happen. This is a horrible matchup for the Thunder. The Thunder won the series with Memphis, but lost the last of their four games against each other. As for the Clippers, Blake Griffin and company beat the Thunder in three of their four games.

The last team Oklahoma City wants to play in the postseason is the Los Angeles Clippers. If they did get the No. 1 seed, they would get the winner of the Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers series. I would take either of those teams over the Clippers or the Grizzlies right now.

That leaves the No. 1 seed San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs beat the Thunder in two of their three meetings this season and are a scary team. When the shortened season began, people proclaimed that the young teams (Oklahoma City, Memphis) and the old teams (San Antonio, Dallas) would excel because the young players would be energetic all season and the lessening of games would keep the older players fresh.

If the Oklahoma City Thunder faces the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, I would compare it to last season's Dallas series. In other words, flip a coin. This is not going to be an easy trip through the NBA playoffs and Oklahoma City will need a lot of luck on their side. They have the better road as the No. 1 seed but they have to pick things up over the next week if they want a chance at that.

Author Shawn S. Lealos has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2000) and is an avid sports fan that has lived in Oklahoma for over 40 years. He used to religiously follow the Dallas Mavericks until Oklahoma City found a team to call their own.

Source: ESPN

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