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Added April 17th, 2011 by Ryan

Western Conference Playoffs Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets

The Oklahoma City Thunder came into this NBA regular season with high hopes of being able to capitalize on their successful season last year and even though some people thought last season was nothing more than a fluke, superstar forward Kevin Durant went on to win his second consecutive scoring title and lead his team back into the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Western Conference.

Being able to improve on last season was impressive to say the least, but this time around the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to upgrade their franchise during the regular season by finally getting that much needed size in the paint. With the addition of defensive minded center Kendrick Perkins in the paint, the Thunder have gone from a good all-around team to a great all-around squad that could be NBA Finals bound if they can continue to play well in the playoffs.

In the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Oklahoma City Thunder will face off against the Denver Nuggets. Even though the Denver Nuggets traded their best player in Carmelo Anthony and floor general in point guard Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks, this team has seemed to have gotten better without their superstar leading the way.

Even though there is no star on the floor for the Nuggets like the Thunder have with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Denver seems to have the right pieces of the puzzle to compete with any team in the playoffs. This first round matchup between the Nuggets and the Thunder will almost certainly be the most entertaining and quite possibly the first series to go seven games in the playoffs.

Despite the fact that the Nuggets can seemingly compete with anyone, the Thunder are the better all-around squad and should advance to the second round, but it will be tough and could go the distance in my opinion.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder advance in six games 4-2

For the best odds on this NBA Playoffs Matchup, check out these two top rated online sportsbooks:

DSI Sportsbook:
Spread: Denver Nuggets +5.5 & Oklahoma City Thunder -5.5
Moneyline: Denver Nuggets +200 & Oklahoma City Thunder -240
Over/Under: Denver Nuggets 110 Oklahoma City Thunder 110 under (200)

Bookmaker Sportsbook:
Spread: Denver Nuggets +5.5 & Oklahoma City Thunder -5.5
Moneyline: Denver Nuggets +200 & Oklahoma City Thunder -240
Over/Under: Denver Nuggets 110 Oklahoma City Thunder 110 under (200)

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