Grays Sports Almanac: McFly’s Sports Predictions (Issue #1)
Oh LaLa, here’s the first of many to come — Gray’s Sports Almanac: McFly’s Sports Predictions series. In this series, I’ll be giving you my sports outcomes that I’ve actually seen within the Gray’s Sports Almanac. All of the following will be stats from the future. (disclaimer: I may have been slightly distracted by the Oh LaLa magazine and therefore some outcomes may be slightly different than what is stated below)
The Western Conference Finals are here and it comes down to the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook vs. Stephen Curry and the “Greatest Team Ever”.
What’s key to this series is matchups. So let’s line ’em up.
- OKC’s Bigs vs. GSW’s “Small Lineup”
OKC possesses arguably the best frontcourt left in the playoffs. With the sudden presence that neanderthal Steven Adams brings and the forgotten “big guy” offense that Enes Kanter provides, there’s no other team in the playoffs that could bring the same problems that OKC can. Steven Adams has definitely made headlines with his work against San Antonio and while I love what he does, I’m still not convinced that he’s prepared for what the Warriors will attack him with.
Although the Warriors are known for their Pleasantville-like shooting, the Dubs still are very potent in penetrating the key. Yes, it may not be the standard “big man” with his “back-to-the-basket” offensive strategy, but the ball movement that the Warriors display would make even the smartest of big defenders confused. The Warriors don’t “isolate” — very seldom do you see one player sitting in the corner waiting for something to happen. There’s constant movement off-ball; the baseline cuts, pick & rolls and off-ball screens will make guys like Adams and Ibaka run for 25-seconds straight.
- Russell Westbrook, The Alien from The Fifth Element vs. The Golden State Warriors’ Defense
Westbrook is definitely the most athletic NBA player we’ve seen since the initial shock of LeBron James. Standing at 6-foot-3, running a 4.2 40-yard-dash, the guy’s truly amazing. Here’s the catch: he can’t shoot the three.
He shoots 32-percent from the three-point range, a range the NBA has quickly found out is incredibly vital to success. The defense for Westbrook is to force him to beat us with his shot, which would eventually evolve into him over-playing and forcing plays. Westbrook is very good, but is still very young in his career, this creates situations where Westbrook isn’t very comfortable taking a backseat in a game and allowing someone else to score which would then lead to frustration turnovers.
- Who’s going to guard Kevin “The Thin Reaper” Durant?
Although Stephen Curry went #backtoback with his MVP status, the MVP before him was the “Duranchula” himself, Kevin Durant. And that Frank Ocean-looking Gumby, Thunderstruck has definitely been playing well this postseason.
So who can keep him honest? Well, luckily the Warriors have options. While there’s no way of actually stopping a superstar like Kevin Durant, the idea is to at least slow him, or take him out of rhythm — guys like Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green, Brandon Rush, Shaun Livingston, Harrison Barnes will all be at the helm to disturb KD and as long as we pester him just a bit, we should be just fine.
- We’re not the San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are definitely not the Warriors, so please do not compare the series between the Spurs and OKC to the series between the Blazers and the Warriors. I’ve said it before, the last real opponent the Warriors would have would be in their last series with Portland (read here). OKC was way more athletic than the Spurs and took two games to notice it. Now critics want OKC to go into a super tough Oracle Arena and outrun the most fast-paced offense in the league? Uh, we’re athletic too b****.
And don’t get me started with the fact that our bench is tons more deep than that of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Name three players off the bench and we can have a viable discussion about how the Thunder can keep up with our bench. We have a complete team in Oakland, not just a MVP.
- Healthy Curry, The Diet Plan for Success
Stephen Curry has been out for most of the playoffs and with the success of his teammates, I think people have forgotten the kind of player that Curry is. We have the reigning MVP (no matter what LeBron or Tim McGrady says) coming back from a long rest and looking to once again, prove he’s the best in the league. So he’s not just the amazing baby-faced assassin anymore, he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder. A chip that Ayesha Curry would take off and use in one of her cook books. Curry has had the most amazing season we’ve seen since the Jordan era and we’re still talking about how he stole the MVP trophy away. I mean, I guess unanimous is vague nowadays.
So I’m reading this Almanac and it says the Warriors take it in 6. We take both games in Oracle, lost one in Oklahoma City due to a freak fourth quarter by OKC’s dynamic duo and finish the series in Oracle with a dominating performance by Klay Thompson. Stephen Curry actually gets to sit in the fourth quarter in this series due to a blowout and Draymond Green has another presser that makes headlines.
You can take that outcome or allow Griff Tannen to blow up the Clock Tower. Your choice.