Blogtable: Dallas vs. OKC

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Which of these teams is less likely to win the Western Conference title: Dallas or Oklahoma City?

David Aldridge: Right now, OKC. The defense has dipped from last season. But they’re capable of playing at that level again. Dallas has all the pieces and with a little luck in the postseason (like avoiding the Spurs or Lakers until the conference finals) I could see the Mavs breaking through.

Steve Aschburner: Win the West this year? Had to ask because of the difference in these squad’s average age. The Thunder’s future is brighter, obviously, but for this spring, I like Dallas’ chances better. The Mavericks play better defense, they play at a pace more suited to the postseason, they seem to have closed ranks to survive Caron Butler’s absence and their top players are thoroughly battle-tested. There’s something to be said, too, for the urgency of knowing that your window of opportunity is closing.

Fran Blinebury: Oklahoma City.  For all of the youth and excitement that continues to buzz around the Thunder, their defense has taken a step back this season and they still turn into a team of jump-shooters down the stretch.  The next step comes when they learn to get Kevin Durant the ball in scoring position near the basket late in games.

Art Garcia: Love how the potential is being realized with the Thunder, but it’s still more potential than reality. I’d take this roster over any in the league because of what can happen over the next decade, but OKC isn’t ready to go all the way in 2011. As hard as the Thunder compete and as far as they’ve come, Scott Brooks is the first to tell you they’ve got so much more to learn. As for the Mavericks, provided Peja Stojakovic has something left and/or Mark Cuban adds more at the deadline, they’ve got a legit shot against the Lakers, Spurs or anyone else in the West.

Scott Howard-Cooper: This season? Oklahoma City. The Thunder are on 53-win pace, which would be a three-game improvement from last season, but that’s different from actually being better. The backslide on defense is obvious and, even within the locker room, perplexing. They have spent much of the first half in the 20s in shooting defense. The Mavericks are around the top 10 in the same category and have an efficient offense. The loss of Caron Butler obviously hurts. But Dallas is more likely, between the two, for the conference crown.

Shaun Powell: The Thunder won’t surprise people the way they did last year, so my pick is OKC being less likely. Not only do the Mavericks have a star, they’re deep and experienced, unlike the Thundies. Oklahoma City might regret the decision to pass on signing a free agent last summer, when they had the money. They’re one player away from being a serious title contender. Can you imagine Amar’e or Boozer on that front line instead of Collison? I know KD can.

John Schuhmann: Oklahoma City. They’re simply not good enough defensively this season. The Thunder have been more potent offensively, but Dallas ranks in the top 10 on both ends. Oklahoma City is actually a below average defensive team – which is maybe one of the biggest surprises of the season, by the way – and have been fortunate enough to win a lot of close games. They’re record is a little inflated in that respect, yet they’re still three games behind the Mavs, who were without their best player for a nine-game stretch. I don’t think either has much of a shot of beating the Lakers or Spurs unless they pull off a deal before the deadline, but if I had to choose one, I’d take the Mavs.

Sekou Smith: As much as I love what‘s going on in Oklahoma City, history tells me that the Thunder will have a much tougher path to the Western Conference crown than a seasoned outfit like the Mavericks. The Thunder’s hole in the middle is still to easy to locate for the opposition. In a seven-game series that’s a fatal flaw that a championship contender will exploit. When the Thunder has the experience to match their talent, desire and excellent chemistry, the rest of the West better buckle up for an extended ride on the Thunder express. But until then we’ll have to settle for being wildly entertained by their attempts to challenge for that top spot.

44 Comments

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    […]Blogtable: Dallas vs. OKC « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog[…]…

  2. awesomeman says:

    Mavs just need to get over their MatchUp bug and they’ll win the Western Conference. Or at least look like they can, and not fake out. OKC will get there, KD no doubt. They just need to spend some time in the playoffs.

    Tyson Chandler looks pretty challenging, especially if he wants a big game. Dont forget Roddy B. Barea looks like a vet scorer.

    Yeah, mavs have screwed up, but theyve gone into the second round at least every other season since 06. Past is the Past, Dirk is probably the hungriest player in the league for one, and God Dangit, he and Kidd (sadly Nash too) are the most deserving in the NBA for a ring.

  3. DALLAS41 says:

    mavs will win… thunder sucks… i hate KD his not that great superstar…..

    • OKC4LIFE says:

      Why do you hate KD because Cuban didn’t buy him or trade his mom for him? Be serious!!! He is a star and is proving it again this year. Dallas is good, but to say that KD is no good simply says “STUPIDITY.

  4. Andre says:

    I think Dallas is kinda a Contender, for sure. I think they are a little behind Spurs and Lakers, but everything will depend on how these teams arrive in the playoffs.

    Spurs need everyone to be healthy but they have an incredible bench. Lakers will depend on Bynum’s healthy and SF defense. Artest leaving is not good.

    Spurs at full power is very hard to match, and they’ll likely have home-court advantage.

  5. young'n says:

    I expect neither to make it to the conference final. I can’t talk Thunder really, I just think the seeding is not favorable to se either team go.

    I can rant about the Mavs from experience though, having been a recipient of a swift kick to the beanbag every year in Dallas. Though the team has changed its personnel to some extent, the pattern behaviors of the Mavericks have not / will not change. Kidd – who the Mavs really need to function because they are made up mostly of guys who can’t create their own shot – will disappear in the playoffs. Teams will focus their energy on late doubling / pestering of Dirk and the refs will let them virtually molest him, taking him to at least a lower level output. Other players will only step up on occasion – a little Terry one night, a little Barea on another night, but it won’t be enough to sustain a series win. The Mavericks still do not have an answer for the dominating SG/SF like Kobe. They still let slashers dunk on them with ease. They still still start jacking up jumpshots late when either protecting a lead from a surging opponent or trying to come back themselves when we know getting to the line is the way to go.

    In a positive light, the center position is better than dare I say EVER for the Mavericks (not saying much). Hopefully, they can benefit from the springy length of Haywood and Chandler. Tyson has been a nice surprise and a welcome addition of juevos around here. But they still don’t have a solid defensive option for Kobe, or even Ginobli. Best bet is sadly to hope for the good D Marion once in awhile.

  6. Mavsman8888 says:

    On the subject of the 06 finals, its not that Dallas played bad or stern was against mark cuban winning a championship, it was the fact that Wade played out of his mind and carried them to win the series, Mavs are a legitamet contendor for the title this year look at who they have beaten,Swept miami, swept boston, beat LA, beat the spurs, they have beaten all the top compitition in the league this year and would have alot better record if dirk did not go down for that stretch of games

  7. T says:

    UMMMMM if your gonna comment maybe you should proof read or try a spell check. It would appear that most of the people going for OKC are in fact a product of the school systems of OK and did not learn the proper way to speak or spell……very hard to piece together what ppl are trying to say. Anyone that thinks DALLAS is not a playoff team is a complete and total sports IDIOT!!!!!!!

  8. cesar says:

    dont get me wrong, these are 2 very good teams, but cmon, if u are assuming that the thunder take out the spurs, and the mavs, beat the defending champions.. sorry but u r delusional. anybody that has been watching the league this yr, and with a couple of brain cells KNOWS, that the mavs and the lakers will go at it 4 a shot at the league leading spurs, by then both teams will b tired, and the spurs will play the heat,,, boring baketball ball, but u will watch…

    • Andre says:

      Please, read the story before. The question is ‘Which of these teams is less likely to win the Western Conference title?’

      No one is assuming they are the top contenders.

      If someone says Memphis is more likely than Sacramento, it doens’t mean Memphis is a true contender.

      1% chance is more than 0,1%.

  9. Norberto Castillo says:

    Mavs are a great team but they need to get first in the west to get to the finals because I don’t think they can pass Lakers and then Spurs in consecutive series. That is why Popovich is so focused about the regular season standing. Lakers-Dallas in the semis will be great specially is Dallas has home-court

  10. cesar says:

    this blog conversation is pointless and dumb…
    its not like either team has a chance 2 get past the san antonio spurs, or the lakers. why not make this blog instead.

    Which of these teams is less likely to win the Western Conference title: spurs or lakers?!!!!
    and stop wasting your time..

    check Ur brain for memories, last yr, spurs where not cohesive, RJ was not playing well. mavs were healthy, with butler, with home court, with a 2 seed. and what happened???? dont b stupid

    • nasri91 says:

      check Ur brain for memories dude, we didnt have Tyson Chandler, Barea was not playing like he is playing now and we have added Peja. not only that, i just think that the whole personality of this team has changed, more defensive minded and Dirk and Terry have been consistently clutch in the fourth quarter, they can definitely take this to the playoffs

  11. DevH says:

    Jerome- How can u say that the Spurs are short? Have u not been keeping up all season?? The Spurs have plenty of playoff/finals experience, and 4 titles to show for it. Of course they could take on the Mavs or Lakers. They took the Mavs in 6 last season..and the Spurs are a much better team than last year. That one is a no-brainer!

    OKC is good but still needs time to grow. Dallas does have more depth than OKC, but it is a shame that Dallas is dirty. The whole organization is cocky when they really do not have the right to be.

    • nasri91 says:

      yeah, but they then got swept by the suns, who were truly still a mediocre team back then, i think their first round win was a fluke

  12. Taylor says:

    Seeing as how the Mavericks recently beat the Lakers, and have swept the Celtics and the Heat along with numerous other elite teams….it’s hard to dismiss them. This team has been completely remodeled over the past couple of years. They have a new coach and the bigs (Chandler, Haywood, and Dirk of course) and the defense to compete. Talking about how the Mavs are chokers is a weak argument because their personnel is different.

    • Andre says:

      In fact, most of this talk about chokers is BS coming from haters. Choking is a word that kind means that a guy/team plays worse then they can because they can’t handle the pressure of a situation.

      Dallas went considerably worse than expected only once or twice in the last 10 years, like in that GSW series. A lot of people talk about Lebron, but he obvious played as he was supposed in most of the playoffs he were in.

      It’s funny that I rarely heard people remembering the arguably ‘second best in history, maybe better than Jordan’ going 6/24 in Finals game 7. Isn’t that closest to choking than what happened to Lebron or Mavs in the past years?

  13. abrahamlincolnonmyneck says:

    bitter 06 finals mavs fan here… anyway, past is past. nobody knows whats gonna happen in the playoffs, that’s the beauty of sports… ive got no problem with the mavs losin the first, 2nd, conference or finals round. i just dont want lebron to win the ring.

  14. […] NBA.com debates who is less likely to win a title this year, Dallas or OKC: “For all of the youth and excitement that continues to buzz around the Thunder, their defense has taken a step back this season and they still turn into a team of jump-shooters down the stretch. The next step comes when they learn to get Kevin Durant the ball in scoring position near the basket late in games.” […]

  15. Eren_Almighty says:

    Mavs will beat the OKC if they confront each other in the playoffs. Better defence, more experience and more desire. Thats why the mavs are the best.

  16. Stephen says:

    @wow Since when is Durant a flashy player?

  17. Follower says:

    sounds like a Dirk vs KD duel.

    MAVS is a more “complete” team and more experiened. they can streak 10 wins erm twice already? never heard of and Thunder win streak that deserved mention.

    So Thunder is less likely to win the conference title, for sure.

  18. Jerome says:

    Dallas playoff hopes rely on when Butler comes back which I think it’s supposed to be the 2nd round of the playoffs and the 1st round should be easy for Dallas without Butler and the Spurs can’t compete with the Lakers they are just too short and they will not be able to win a 7 game series against the Mavs or the Lakers

  19. wow says:

    look okc is tow small to even get past the laker with there three big guys
    end of dicsussion the lakers are just too good

    dallas being the best in the west–a joke
    this is an perfect example of people having a short memory
    dallas is NOT a playoff team–when it come to a seven game series,, they had only one star with so many weaknesses to exploit
    in game to game situations, when you have to change your style of playing every night, you can pull out a lot ot wins when opponets can’t lock in on your weakness es

    however, when a team can pratice 3-5 times before you even play a game, watch extessive tape, and come up with a game plan to take you down it is going to be a 4-2 series every time because you can pull out a win ar an oppent may have a bad night, but winning four out of seven games came from pure match ups and adavantages witch dallas just doues not have

    we have seen this a lot in the past where they took team in the regular season and won all their games, come playoff time, they lose badly (warroirs anyone)

    while the mavs may be able to math up with a team like the spurs-i doubt they could match up with the lakers because they dont have bigs–dirk will be slowed down by artest and barnes, pao and bynum will take the bigs and the laker bench will kill them–i dont think that i hae to even metion what kobe can do i dare say that series is over in five

    ock-very scary–everyone is going off of last years preformance, and tey are now viewed as right under the NBA elites (Lakers, Boston, Heat, Spurs, Bulls, Orlando, and maybe Dallas) they are at the top of the teams in the west the people dont see going to the finals– if they get intestisty up, and make a big trade for 1 or 2 bigs and another player on the bench ( kinda like lamar odom) they are a very scary team–however, looking at the line up RIGHT NOW– they can not contend with the lakers, spurs, boston, orlando,heat, bulls and teams that have a good inside presence)

    LAkERS THE 2011 NBA CHAMPIONS

    • rico says:

      i think everyone that underestimates the mavs are mistaken.No one can guard dirk and even if he doesnt score his team mates get open shots.Dirk is a future hall of famer and no one gives him respect. He cant be guarded by bynum or artest or gasol. Artest is to old and gasol cannot guard the perimeter and bynum is just not capable of playing the pick and roll defense.

    • Joe Texas says:

      The Mavs have 4 bigs on their roster right now. Chandler, Dirk, Haywood, and Mahimi. They don’t need to trade for another big. Personally, I don’t think they need to trade at all. Once Roddy B comes back, they will be balanced enough to finish the season strong, even without Butler, although Butler would of made them especially dangerous this year. Peja was a good pick up for the Mavs, who will fit in to their system well. Dallas’s bench is crazy good, with their big three off the bench consisting of Marion, Terry, and Haywood. Not only that but JJ Barea is stepping up big time off the bench. The Lakers are done in the West, and they know it which is why you hear trade rumors coming out of Hollywood. In the West, it will be between the Spurs and Mavs this year.

  20. Jay says:

    Dallas is the most under rated team in this league. OKC cannot play defense and aren’t as deep or experienced as this Mavericks team. Plus the Mavs have swept Miami and Boston this year along with wins against the Lakers, Thunder, Spurs and I think every team in this league. I’m pretty sure OKC doesn’t have as many wins against high caliber teams as the Mavs do. Ok they haven’t done so hot in the playoffs, but this year it’s different. Caron Butler’s absence does not mean the end of the world for the Mavs either. They’re definitely going somewhere this year with this squad.

  21. shooot says:

    OKC. if dallas are playoff final material, they wouldve done it already.

    • Andre says:

      This is BS. It’s all about being good enough or not. Detroit won it all once and was a disaster the other years. They were swept by a young Lebron playing alone.

      And Dallas won 2 games and lost 3 by 1, 2 and 3 points, all close games, againts a Strong Miami. It’s absurd to say they played bad.

      And this Dallas team is way better.

      They have a seasoned veteran in Kidd, a tough core defender in Chandler. Nowitzki is clutch and consistent, and not winning will never chance my opinion on him. There’s also Marion, Terry, Haywood.

      You need to look at the team, not these silly prejudices, that some teams are simply not able to win playoff games.

      Dallas probably won’t win it again, but they are in better shape than OKC. OKC simply have nothing to do againt big man.

      • wow says:

        yea they probaly will have a better chance–but i seiously doubt that either tem will even get to the western confernce finals

        the playoffs are all about five things
        1. Match-ups (if one player is going for 45 in 3 or thier four win-you will not advance
        2. Players ( is it personal liek celtics lakers– or is it just another team u have to go throught to try to win a championship)
        3. Advantages and Disadvantages- the lakers and cetlics have great guard play and many bigs-team just cant stop them
        4. Mind Games (Phil Jackson) this is why he is the greatest coach of all time
        5. Defense-Turnovers-Rebounds (the playoffs are not a time for a showdown between scorers that is a recipe for disaster-good defense always win playoffs games–turnover–this is why teams like the thunder-the lst year cavs-maybe this years heat- the bulls and other teams are never succesful- they play way to fast and commit a lot of turnovers- los of mistakes- lots lof losses and rebounds–they more you have the ball they more you can shoot- the more yo shoot-they more points you score or the chance of scoring-if u are letting a tem get 345 oppuruntiys on one play (game 7 NBA finals celtics lakers) you will lose- no matter how well you play on offense also if you dont give your self enough tries to score-theyyou will lose

        The reason why the celtics a nd lakers are good for the past three years is that there teams have had these qualtaties

        this is why lebron still does not have a ring-an along with a lot of young flashy players-mello, durant, d rose, etc.

        dallas is not a play off team

        okc is a future playoff team–give it two years

      • skimp says:

        that right it is about winnin now, also that detriot team didnt have ben wallace anymore jus so you know he made a big diffrence for them

  22. Amused by Amused says:

    I will not deny the greatness that is OKC. But the two teams aren’t all that far apart, both teams are lacking an additional all star to make em true contenders, and their centers are strong but get pushed around when it comes to going against serious muscle. The only difference between these teams is Dallas bench is deep with veteran players and specialist, on the other hand OKC has youth on their side and can run for days. If these two teams were to meet during the post season it would be one heck of a series.

  23. Joshua Rohde says:

    there is still a lot of time left in the season and if OKC can bring their D back they can beat any team in the league.

    • Gary says:

      I agree. I think with their youth they should run a full court press more just to wear down other teams.

  24. Gary says:

    As much as I like OKC, I have to say Dallas.

  25. DADSFD says:

    pretty sure getting to the finals constitutes being a playoff team. that and 10+ years of getting to the playoffs and winning multiple playoff series. you also forget that this dallas team is a lot different teams from the dallas teams of past that relied heavily on on jumpshots. the current team actually has a force in the paint thanks to chandler and haywood(although he hasnt contributed nearly as much as the mavs thought he would). also butler(when healthy) and marion are two of the better finishers dallas has had in awhile. while the thunder are no doubt a very good team, comparing this dallas team to dallas teams of the past simply isnt valid.

  26. Amused says:

    All theis doubting about the Thunder completely misses two key points:

    1) No one knows yet how much the Thunder are truly capable of yet. They took the eventual champions to six games last year, in their very first postseason appearance, and Russell Westbrook has now emerged as the perfect costar to go alongside Kevin Durant.

    2) The Mavericks have already proven–numerous times–that they are NOT a playoff team. How else to explain their disappearance against Miami in the 2006 Finals, their loss to the Warriors the next year in the first round, and their consistent inability to get back even to the Western Conference Finals?

    Less likely to win the West? Take a lesson from history. The Mavericks are less likely because they are not and have never been a play off team.

    • Bob says:

      I love when idiots like you think they know what they are talking about. The mavs didnt disappear vs miami, they were up 2-0 then the refs took it from them. When 1 player goes to the line more than the whole other team the refs had money on the series. As far as the warriors, in the regular season they were the only team the mavs couldnt beat. they just happened to get the one team they couldnt beat. Avery just wasnt smart enough! They beat every other team in the west that year but avery didnt know what to do against his mentor.

      • DeeWig says:

        Uhh mavs have been to the playoffs every year since 1999-2000…Laker’s AND Boston can’t say that. So how are they not a playoff team again? Check your stats before you say something so stupid

      • David says:

        Why don’t you just blame the loss to the Warriors on the refs too if it makes you feel better.

    • Andy says:

      C’mon, man. Mavs already have one (yes, one) Western Conference Championship and one trip to the NBA Finals. I agree, the OKC Thunder did take the Lakers to six games but that does not prove anything until you beat them. Second, They are not doubting the Thunder, they are just being realistic. The Mavs DO have a better chance than winning the west (between DAL and OKC). They are not saying the Mavs will take it all and go undefeated in the playoffs. Chill out man and put your feet on the ground.

    • Kellie says:

      Wait, when did the OKC get out of the first round? They took the Lakers to 7 and that was impressive. Had we taken the Lakers to 7 it would not be impressive, our exit was a disappointment. Why? Because the Mavs’ expectations are higher. The Thunder are like the 08 Hawks of the West. Just put up a good fight, nobody expects you to win. The Mavs are winners. The Thunder are fighters. I’ll take the winners. mmmkaybye.

  27. Captain Insano41 says:

    Maverick are have more experiance but OkC ie a young team like both to go to the Western Conference final