2012 NBA Playoff Predictions: Sporting News Picks Mavericks Over Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have a hard road ahead, as does any team hopeful for the NBA title, with one formidable opponent after another on their way to the Finals. However, given the Thunder's recent performance and their first round draw, it might be particularly difficult for a stunned team led by Kevin Durant to make it as far as many think. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News is picking an upset in the first round and has the Dallas Mavericks besting the favored Thunder in the end.

He writes, "Oklahoma City has championship aspirations, but before they can get there, they've got to exorcise the demon that has haunted them since last spring-Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, who displayed individual brilliance, averaging 32.2 points and twice topping the 40-point mark, in carrying the Mavericks past the Thunder in five games in last year's conference finals. Dallas is limping into the postseason, but there is still enough talent on hand to give the Thunder a good first-round run."

Both teams are not at their functional best, so it could go either direction. If James Harden is ready and available to play, however, it could be the sort of wake-up call the team needed at the right time.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Kansas City

You must be a member of SB Nation Kansas City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Kansas City. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Kansas City

You must be a member of SB Nation Kansas City to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Kansas City. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.