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2012 NBA Playoff Predictions: Sporting News Picks Mavericks Over Thunder

Many are already counting out the Dallas Mavericks, saying they are too old and don't have enough weapons to keep up with the young, up-and-coming, Oklahoma City Thunder. However one writer isn't ready to give up on the defending NBA Champions.

Sean Deveney of the Sporting News likes the Mavericks to beat the Thunder as his "Upset Alert". He writes:

"Oklahoma City has championship aspirations, but before they can get there, they've got to exorcise the demon that has haunted them since last spring-Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, who displayed individual brilliance, averaging 32.2 points and twice topping the 40-point mark, in carrying the Mavericks past the Thunder in five games in last year's conference finals. Dallas is limping into the postseason, but there is still enough talent on hand to give the Thunder a good first-round run."

If anything maturity and the leadership of the veterans may be on the side of the Mavericks as we head in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

For all the latest news and notes about the Mavericks playoff run, head over to Mavs Moneyball while Welcome To Loud City has everything you need to know about the Thunder.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.