3 Reasons Why The Thunder Will Beat The Warriors And Advance To The NBA Finals

The Oklahoma City Thunder knocked off the San Antontio Spurs in the second round to advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they will face the Golden State Warriors. Even though OKC lost all three regular season games against the Warriors during the regular season, there's legitimate reason to think they have a chance to win this series. Here are three reasons why the Thunder will upset Golden State and make the NBA Finals:

3) Better closing games

OKC has fourth-quarter leads in all three games against the Warriors during the regular season, yet collapsed in all three games. This was during an extended stretch when the Thunder seemingly couldn't close a game - but that has changed now. They've closed fourth quarters strong in the postseason, winning seven of their last eight games in which they had a lead late in the game (the only loss came in a four-point loss to the Spurs).

If they have late leads overthe Warriors again in this series, most of those heartbreaking losses are going to turn into wins.

2) Depth, depth, depth

The Thunder have been crippled by a short bench in recent years, but that hasn't been the case. Enes Kanter and Dion Waiters are capable of playing starter minutes, and Nick Collison, Anthony Morrow and Cameron Payne have proven to be capable contributors as well. When they play well, the Thunder are virtually impossible to beat.

1) Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City is the only team Golden State will play where they don't have two of the three best players on the court at any given time. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are capable of beating any team in the league by themselves, and they're playing perhaps the best basketball of their careers right now. Westbrook has made it a point to not be as wild with his shot selection in the playoffs - and the result was three straight wins over the Spurs.

For as good as the Warriors are, they don't have anyone who can guard either KD or Westbrook. If these two play the way they're capable of, the Thunder will be in a great position.

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Related Topics: Kevin Durant, NBA Playoffs, 2016 NBA Playoffs, Russell Westbrook, Thunder News, NBA News