Many people are picking the Oklahoma City Thunder to reach the NBA Finals — and possibly win the NBA title — but TNT/CBS analyst Kenny Smith is not sold on them. Smith sees some weaknesses with the Thunder and would not be surprised if they lost early in the postseason. LBS spoke with The Jet who was touring on behalf of Coke Zero to promote their Enjoy More Madness program. Fans can gain unique codes from Coke Zero products – as well as from the Watch & Score Instant Win Game – entering these codes through their My Coke Rewards account at Enjoy More Madness. We talked about how Kentucky would do against an NBA team, about some of the issues facing the Orlando Magic, and how he would handle Andrew Bynum. He had some really good opinions, so you should definitely read the whole thing, especially his thoughts on the Magic partying in New York City.
So why is Smith worried about the Thunder?
“The West is wide open. If Oklahoma City won it or lost in the first round, I might not be surprised,” Smith told LBS. “I just think their youth … they’re talented but they’re still inexperienced in certain areas. Because of their inexperience, it wouldn’t surprise me if they lost to a lower seed.”
When reminded that the Thunder made it to the Western Conference Finals last season, Smith said he still has some concerns.
“I was a little surprised the way they handled the adversity last year with the whole Russell Westbrook stuff. If they can get over that, then they’re the team to beat in the West,” Smith believes, “but the way they handled that wasn’t beneficial. That’s going to show its head again. There is going to be a game where he takes a lot of shots and people say ‘he shot too much,’ and I don’t think they handled that well.”
Whoever comes out of the Western Conference will likely face the Heat, Smith thinks.
“I still like Miami. Even though Chicago is probably the best team collectively, I think the individual talents of Miami are still too great, and they still play as a team.”
We talked about whether Kentucky could beat an NBA team the way so many informed people, including his colleague Charles Barkley, believe. He tried to put that talk to rest.Google+