Commentary

Which team has the edge?

Updated: April 27, 2012, 1:44 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon and Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

It's a Western Conference finals rematch in the first round, and both teams have a ton to prove.

The Mavericks, who allowed some major contributors to move on in free agency after the franchise's first title, are motivated to show that they are still a championship contender and not the inconsistent team that too often looked old and slow while struggling to finish as the West's 7 seed during the lockout-compressed irregular season. The defending champions cross the Red River as decided underdogs.

The Thunder, featuring the NBA's most dynamic young duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, want to prove that they have grown up since being schooled by the Mavs in crunch time last May. This postseason is the time for the baby-faced Thunder, whom Dallas sixth man Jason Terry considers akin to the Mavs' "little brothers," to prove that OKC doesn't stand for Oklahoma Kan't Close.

Let the games begin in Loud City ...

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