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One-on-One: Who will win the NBA Finals this year?

LA Lakers

After 82 games in six months, the NBA playoffs are finally upon us. In two months, a champion will be crowned.

There are many contenders, but when it’s all said in done the Lakers will capture their second three-peat in less than a decade.

Playoffs in any sport tend to be considered a new season and the NBA is no exception.

In the playoffs, teams actually play hard for 40 minutes and realize they need to play defense to win a championship. Experience counts and having players and coaches who know how to win makes all the difference.

Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson will be looking to snag his 12th NBA Title and fourth three-peat. Jackson has the winning pedigree and will be the best coach on the floor no matter who the Lakers face in the playoffs.

The Lakers also have the best player in the NBA in Kobe Bryant. Kobe maybe aging, but come playoff time there is no one I’d rather have on my team. He is the consummate winner.

But the real difference maker for the Lakers will be their team defense. Defense wins championships and besides the Celtics there isn’t another team in the NBA that can match the Lakers defensively.

Come June, expect Los Angeles to be hosting another championship parade.  

-Alex Ross   

OKC Thunder

While Derrick Rose’s best Allen Iverson impression and the media’s 24/7 obsession of the Miami Heat have stolen the spotlight, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have gone relatively ignored most of the season, until the trade.

When the Celtics gift-wrapped Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson for Jeff Green and chair throwing enthusiast Nenad Kristic, every single sports prognosticator thought the Thunder had pulled off highway robbery.

Kendrick Perkins has spent the past three years setting deadly screens and pushing around every big man in the league.

His defensive prowess frees physical-freak Serge Ibaka to play his natural power forward position and has helped fine tune the young shot blocker’s game.

The defensively-inclined frontcourt is a nice balance to the team’s big-time scorers. The aforementioned Durant leads the league in scoring and point guard Russell Westbrook, unbeknownst to most, is having the same statistical output as Rose in almost every category.

With the addition of Perkins, the Thunder is a nightmare matchup for every team in the NBA and they look like a frontrunner for the NBA Championship. 

-Zach Berg    

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