2010 NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Preview

With Oklahoma City losing last night to Portland, the Thunder locked up the eighth seed and will meet up with the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs this weekend.

This will easily be the most watched first round series throughout the playoffs.  The biggest reason is that the Lakers are playing.  But also because a lot of NBA fans haven't had the chance to see the Thunder play this season (only three nationally televised games) and will have a chance to see Kevin Durant and company.

The Thunder do have a chance in this matchup.  I was actually praying Oklahoma City wouldn't play the Nuggets with the sixth seed because I had a terrible feeling of getting swept by Denver had Oklahoma City played them in the first round.

The Thunder have competed every game this season with the Lakers and have blown them out once.  However, that was in the regular season.  This is a totally different atmosphere, obviously.

The Lakers are filled with veterans and are resting Kobe in preparation for the postseason.  Plus, they will most likely have Andrew Bynum ready to go by Sunday.

Now, going by the matchups, it's going to be an extremely interesting four to seven games.

Russell Westbrook shouldn't have too much trouble with Derek Fisher.  Fisher has shown throughout the season that he can't keep up with Westbrook's speed.  Although you can never count Fisher out, as he has one of the most clutch shots in the league. 

However, Westbrook has solid perimeter defense and should be able to contain him decently enough.

Kobe Bryant going up against Thabo Sefolosha will be one of the marquee matchups in the series.  The last time these two met, Sefolosha frustrated Bryant to almost double-figure turnovers and an early exit. 

However, Bryant thrives in the playoffs and will most likely find a way to dissect arguably the best ...

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