Western Conference finals preview


Western Conference finals preview

The Western Conference finals begin on Sunday night when theSan Antonio Spurs host the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams have been off fora while. The Spurs have had six days off since last playing, and the Thunderhas had five days off.Some are saying that the winner of this series is the mostlikely NBA champion, and no doubt there are some interesting storylines in thisone. The Spurs have won 18 consecutive games going back to the regular season,and the Thunder looked impressive in series victories over Dallas and the L.A.Lakers.Why Spurs will win: They are the mostexperienced team remaining in the postseason, theyre healthy and theyrepeaking. Whats more, their three-man core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and ManuGinobili has more support than it has had in years.In addition, the Spurs would seem to have an advantage inthe coaching department. Gregg Popovich has won four titles as coach; ScottBrooks is making his second consecutive appearance in the conferencefinals.How Thunder could win: Its not hard atall to envision an Oklahoma City victory in this series. These teams are thatevenly matched. What the Thunder is going to need to do to beat San Antonio isshow they are capable of slowing the Spurs offense down.San Antonio has executed better than any other team in theplayoffs at the offensive end, but the Thunders quickness will have to bedealt with.The Spurs will also have to prove they can guard KevinDurant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.Insiders intangible: Duncan is playingextremely well, but the Thunders front line is big and physical. If KendrickPerkins, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Nazr Mohammed can wear Duncan down overthe course of the series, the Thunder will be in better position towin.Prediction: Spurs in 7.

Gilbert Arenas: Steph Curry is not a Top 5 point guard


Gilbert Arenas: Steph Curry is not a Top 5 point guard

Calm down Warriors fans.

Gilbert Arenas is just looking to make headlines (and it worked).

On the most recent episode of his show "Out of Bounds," Arenas unveiled his Top 5 point guards in the NBA:

1) Chris Paul
2) LeBron James
3) John Wall
4) Damian Lillard
5) Ben Simmons

Just to be clear -- Arenas repeatedly harped on the definition of "point guard" and considers guys like Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook "combo guards" or "scorers."

But obviously, his list is silly and full of contradictions. For one -- Lillard is a "scorer" who is averaging 6.2 assists (Curry is averaging 6.5) and is shooting only 40 percent from the field this season.

"I can't put Curry as a Top 5 point guard," Arenas explained. "You know he hasn't actually led the Golden State Warriors in assists ... you're a guard, you're a scorer ... if I pass the ball to Klay Thompson 15 times ... that means I get six assists a game.

"Then you have KD on your team, pick-and-roll pass it back -- he's gonna make at least six of those. So the fact that you're not averaging 12 assists from just two of these guys, is a problem."

Note to Arenas: Curry led the Warriors in assists in five of his first six seasons.

The other two hosts -- Adam Caparell and Pierce Simpson -- constantly brought it to Arenas' attention that the modern NBA is different and positions are not nearly as defined as they once were.

But Arenas didn't really want to hear any of that.

In his dissection of Harden, Arenas made it very clear that he is not a fan of Harden's turnover numbers.

"If the guy throws 25 passes -- 13 made buckets and 13 turnovers -- he is not considered a great playmaker," Arenas declared. "Thirteen assists compared to his 5.5 turnovers. He's not even 2 to 1 guys. Come on. He's not even 2 to 1. If you're saying a great guard, yes. He's a great guard. Combo guard."

Two things:

1) 13 + 13 = 26
2) 13 to 5.5 actually is greater than 2 to 1. It's 2.36 to 1

Oh well.

Caparell's Top 5:

1) Russell Westbrook
2) Steph Curry
3) Kyrie Irving
4) Damian Lillard
5) James Harden

Simpson's Top 5:

1) James Harden
2) John Wall
3) Russell Westbrook
4) Steph Curry
5) Giannis Antetokounmpo

This was a big waste of time, wasn't it?

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Klay 'active citizen in the community' Thompson discusses local TV hit


Klay 'active citizen in the community' Thompson discusses local TV hit

The Warriors had an off day in New York on Monday.

So Klay Thompson hit the streets.

Why did he agree to take part in a local TV hit about scaffolding?

"I was walking and she asked me if I wanted to do an interview, and I said sure," Klay explained to reporters on Tuesday. "Interesting topic -- unfortunately, people got hurt. And it was cool to give my opinion and be an active citizen in the community."

Did she know who Klay was?

"No. It was great. It was nice," Klay answered. "The cameraman recognized me but she didn't ask my profession. Just what I thought about the situation, so I answered it truthfully. 

Don't ever change, Klay. Don't ever change.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller