Blogs & Opinion


Thunder on a roll

Spurs on the brink of victory, says Alex

Alex Ferguson Posted 5th June 2012 view comments

This year's NBA might have started with a whimper after a players' strike wiped out half of the season, but the Play-Offs have been going off with a bang - especially in the Eastern and Western Conference.

Both the Miami v Boston and San Antonio v Oklahoma City series are on a knife-edge, with Oklahoma State just a game up going into Wednesday's Game Six and Miami and Boston tied at 2-2 going into Tuesday's Game Five.

Tim Duncan can only get better...

Tim Duncan can only get better...

So who is going to make it through? Sky Sports' Alex Ferguson gives you his predictions (and pleads you not to go to the bookies)...

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Why San Antonio will win

If you listen to the critics, they'll immediately point out that the Spurs were not only beaten twice in a row in Oklahoma City, but they were beaten comprehensively. They'll throw up words like 'too old', and tell you that Tim Duncan looked completely out of his depth against Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Durant, and a hostile crowd, who all spent 120 minutes of the games jumping around like hyperactive kids on a sugar high.

But this is why we think they'll win. They may have lost Game 5 at home, but they are more than capable of coming back in Game 6 - despite what everyone has been saying about the teutonic Thunder crowd. Secondly, Tim Duncan can't possibly be as awful as he has been in the last three games, when he's simply missed shot after shot after shot.

And although Perkins and Durant are undoubtedly great players, the Spurs have more depth coming off the bench - and that's going to hurt Oklahoma City late on. Especially if Manu Ginobili can get some more support in the win-or-go-home Game 6 in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Why Oklahoma City will win

To misquote a Prince song, Oklahoma City's thundering all through the night is helping the fans to see Jesus in the morning light. And if Durant and Perkins continue to take their fans' hands, they are going to see Jesus (or at least the NBA Finals) in the morning light (see what we did there?).

Before Game 3 in Oklahoma City, the Spurs were 2-0 up, on a 20-game winning streak and looking indomitable. But after losing three straight, the Spurs have looked plain old. Kendrick Perkins, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant has been playing out of his mind, the Thunder have had performances from under-the-radar players, ask Thabo Sefolosha (19 points in Game 3) and Serge Ibaka (26 points in Game 4).

And speaking of radar, Durant's a big one on everyone's radar, and hasn't let anyone down in the last three games. Sure, he's been a bit of a slow starter, but what does that matter when the game's four quarters, and he can destroy in the fourth. With the three straight victories at their back, Oklahoma City is going to be unstoppable for Game 6 with THAT CROWD behind them, and the Thunder will be rolling onto the NBA Finals.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Why Miami will win

What has made this series (and the San Antonio - Oklahoma City one) so intriguing is that both sides haven't been able to forge a road victory in front of a hostile crowd. But Miami could well have won Game 4 in Boston - LeBron James will still be kicking himself for getting thrown out during overtime - and had an incredible 18-point comeback to take the game beyond the normal 60 minutes.

What does this show you? First of all, LeBron James is ready to play (he shot the tying jumper with seconds of regulation in Game 4), and he's playing well, too. Secondly, Dwayne Wade is still frighteningly good. Oh, and Chris Bosh may well be able to come back from injury to hurt the Celtics, be it in Games 5 or 6.

Oh, and the Heat will be playing with no end of fire (Heat? Fire? Geddit?!) after Rajon Rondo's comments to a US radio station about the Heat's "complaining and crying" to the referees for not getting (what they think) are the proper calls. And finally - and this is the main bit - Miami has home court advantage. Miami could quite easily sweep the next two games and it'll be nothing but sweet dreams until the final.

Why the Celtics will win

Boston have played with a lot of guts this series. After going 2-0 to kick off the series, many thought that the Wade & James show would simply roll into Boston, take two more games, and waltz into the NBA Finals Strictly-style. Well, the Celtics fought back.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rondo combined for over 60 points in Game 3 to give Boston a ten-point victory. Then, after blowing an 18-point third quarter lead (Boston simply couldn't hit anything and Miami came on strong), we were convinced that Miami was going to go home with a 3-1 lead. But the fates did not agree.

With that type of gutsy performance, Boston are going to come back stronger than ever in Game 5. They'll go into Miami, score a hatful early on, and drain the confidence away from the Heat's spoiled fanbase, whose white shirts will be drenched not by their players' sweat, but their own tears. Then it'll be back to Boston for a triumphant Game 6, with Paul Pierce staying on the court and Rondo scoring a hatful to send the Dream Team home with a beautiful nightmare.

back to top

Other Blogs:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: Costa made difference

Diego Costa has shown the impact he can have at Chelsea, but injuries are a worry, says Jamie Redknapp....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Jeff Stelling

Stelling: Fears for Leeds

Jeff Stelling is worried that headline-making Leeds could end up slipping back into League One. ...

Stuart Barnes

Size doesn't matter

Stuart Barnes admires the All Blacks' emphatic win and salutes Argentina's fight with the Boks....

Barrie vs Terry

Barrie v Terry

Barrie McDermott and Terry O'Connor go head-to-head with their Super League predictions......

Phil Clarke

Clarke: Six into one

Phil Clarke looks at the contenders for the League Leader's Shield as we head into the sharp end of the season....

Phil Clarke

Rules of the gain?

Phil Clarke is worried some of the basic laws are being ignored just to make rugby league faster....

Barry Cowan

Murray to make move

Barry Cowan is backing Andy Murray to make the last eight in New York and test Novak Djokovic....

0 comments

Alex Hammond

Look to the Future

Alex Hammond on a fantastic week at York and picks three best bets for this weekend, including Godolphin's Future Empire...

Alex Hammond

Royal week of racing

Alex Hammond shares tips for the Galway Festival and Glorious Goodwood - where Captain Cat is among her selections....

comments

Neal Foulds

Selby steel

New world champion Mark Selby's the master of match play, says Neal Foulds - but what's next for Ronnie?...

comments

Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments