Monday, June 11, 2012
by Clayton Tinkle
special to the Clarion Content
from The Eastside Perspective
This year’s conference finals provide us basketball fans with an age old matchup; The Young Guns versus The Veterans. Let's step back, anyone recall the 92’ NCAA tournament? The “young and immature” Fab Five from Michigan vs. the experienced Duke Blue Devils. Grant Hill and Christian Laettner came out on top in a demolition of the Wolverine’s “Young Guns” . There are other examples, but let’s stick to the games at hand.
While both of the semi-final series pertain the same basic matchup, they couldn’t have started any different. The Miami Heat embraced the role of the Young Gun and jumped out two games to none lead over the Veteran Boston Celtics. On the other side of the country, the exact opposite happened. The San Antonio Spurs spoiled the energetic Thunder’s chance of taking an early lead. The Spurs used flawless fundamentals and execution to take a commanding two game lead of their own.
“That’s why they play the game” -Anyone who ever got a prediction wrong.
Using its youth and fast paced tempo, OKC jumped back with three high scoring wins over San Antonio. In both wins Kevin Durant showed why he was the scoring champ as the Thunder scored over a hundred points in both recent wins. On the other hand, Boston used its nitty gritty toughness and veteran leadership to claw back and tie its series with the youthful Heat at two games a piece - both at home.
We've seen both generations can flex their muscles in different ways. However, my final thoughts are that both sets of Young Guns will outlast the Veterans - Youth will prevail in a best of seven series format. As much as I would like to see Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett square off, I think Kevin Durant and LBJ will be better for the game - headlines will be taken and eyes will be all over the Finals.
Both series go six games, with OKC closing out at home and the Heat will win two straight to close out on the road. However, The Celtics could join the Thunder as the only other teams in NBA history to win games 3, 4 and 5 after losing the first two games.
Then again who knows what’s going to happen? It's the playoffs..