Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/24/12

The series looming between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs is one of the most intriguing series the NBA has seen for a while. It displays the classic battle of youth vs. experience.

The Spurs , lead by Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan are all at least 29 years old. Their leadership and efficiency have led to team totals of second in scoring, fourth in assists, and ninth in rebounding. The rebounding stat is especially impressive because other than Duncan their frontline is a little undersized and inexperienced.

The Spurs’ main objective will be to stop this years’ scoring champ in Kevin Durant, and they have some young, athletic forwards that might be up to the challenge. A lot of times we get caught up in their “big three”, but San Antonio has other guys on the team that have played key roles throughout the season.

Players such as Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal, and Daniel Green have all come up big one time or another. Leonard’s versatility has really been important for a team that didn’t have an athletic forward last year that could match up on multiple positions. This is one of the main reasons they were defeated so early in the playoffs last year.

Splitter has matured into a solid compliment to Duncan, as the latter can’t play as many minutes as he used to. Splitter isn’t a dominant rebounder, and he doesn’t command a lot of respect on the offensive side of the court, but he runs the floor well and does all the little things necessary of him while Duncan rests.

The Spurs have flown under the radar all season long, while the Thunder’s more flashy style has landed them on ESPN nightly, but at the end of the day the Spurs have been here before and they know what it takes to win.

Other than the obvious (Durant and Russell Westbrook) the Thunder do have some other aspects going for them to give them the upper hand in the series. As I mentioned above the Spurs have some pretty impressive team statistics, and really rely on that solid play to beat their opponents, but the Thunder are right behind them at third in scoring, and actually rebound better than the Spurs do at 6th in the league.

Even though the Thunder are young in age they play a more experienced style of basketball. I think the Spurs will have trouble beating them in a seven game series because of this.

To me, the x-factor in this series is Serge Ibaka. If he can handle Duncan and Splitter inside and not let them out rebound and score him I think it will go a long way to insuring a Thunder victory. Kendrick Perkins’ big body will also be key for when San Antonio decides to put DeJuan Blair in.

All-in-all this should be very close series that displays some very technically sound basketball. My only worry is will the winner of this series be too beaten up and exhausted to take on the Eastern Conference champ?

Home court advantage will prove to be too much for the inexperienced Thunder,

Spurs in 7.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dallas Cowboys place Darren McFadden on PUP list

Mark Cuban: Brady suspension should be more severe

Darrelle Revis thinks AFC East will be NFL’s toughest division

David Price traded to Blue Jays

Joey Bosa among four OSU players suspended for opener


NFLPA: NFL didn't respond to Tom Brady settlement offer

Tom Coughlin calls Jason Pierre-Paul situation a ‘fiasco’

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Tom Brady lawsuit transferred from Minnesota to Manhattan

LeGarrette Blount failed conditioning test

Trent Richardson 'reclamation project not going so well'

Spurs Jesus catches burglar, holds him down for police

Will the San Francisco Giants end up standing pat?

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

Cole Hamels deal: What is the true price of rebuilding?

William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry auctioning off Super Bowl ring

Affairs of the Hart (Trophy)

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Terry Collins writes letter to widow of longtime Mets fan

Jets fans fly "Cheaters Look Up" banner over Patriots practice

Dodgers upgrade rotation in unexpected, intelligent way

For some NFL players, life begins at undrafted

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Will the Giants end up standing pat?

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker