For NBA fans, the Western Conference finals showdown between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder is must-see TV, a (possible) seven-part dramatic miniseries featuring small-market powerhouses.
Watching the Spurs is like watching a top-notch orchestra, with conductor Gregg Popovich guiding a nightly clinic of fundamental basketball, led by big man Tim Duncan, still going strong after all these years.
Do you enjoy in-your-face taunting and chest-thumping? The Spurs won't give you that. But if you like solid screens, pick-and-rolls, back-door cuts and old-fashioned bounce passes, the Spurs are your kind of team.
In contrast, the Thunder can fill an entire hour of SportsCenter in one quarter. The Thunder is lightning-quick and can score in bunches it had 30 fast-break points in Monday's convincing closeout of the Lakers.
From Russell Westbrook's ankle-turning drives to Kevin Durant's ice-in-the-veins clutch shooting to Serge Ibaka's powerful blocked shots, Oklahoma City plays a louder version of basketball that many fans can't get enough of.
The series features some amazing matchups, too: Tony Parker vs. Westbrook at point; rookie Kawhi Leonard vs. Durant at small forward and Duncan vs. Ibaka at power forward.
Even with all that talent in the starting lineups, the series could come down to two guys who don't start Sixth Man of the Year James Harden of the Thunder vs. Sixth Man of All-Time Manu Ginobili of the Spurs, two guys who would be the first option on many lottery-bound teams.
What to watch
NBA, Boston at Philadelphia, 5 p.m., ESPN: Can Celtics close out Sixers in Game 6 on the road?
Who will win the Western Conference finals?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; Or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
What should the Giants do about Brandon Belt?
Keep him in lineup: 27%
Platoon him with Aubrey Huff and Brett Pill: 24%
Send him to Fresno: 49%
Total votes: 117
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Read more articles by Tom Couzens
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