Monday, 26 June 2017 12:57 Written by Trent Meister
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2020 NatCon Finals Preview

2020 Kurzyna 01
Can Angel Kurzyna and the Thunderbirds upset the #1 seeded London Knights?


It is the National conference heavy weight bout we have all been waiting for. The two giants will ride their respective game seven home series wins into this encounter. The Knights of London who finished as the number one ranked National team and the Arizona Thunderbirds, who are desperate to reclaim the title they lost to the Tritons last season.

With the Knights having home court advantage, it would be wise to break down the team and where they may win or lose this series and the opportunity to bring a title back to the Nat Conference and hang that most sought after banner from the rafters.

London Knights

The London Knights are a beast and rightly deserve favoritism in this match up. Mack Lavoie is relishing his new role at the Knights and is leading the team these playoffs with 19.2 points but that is followed closely by Jose Owens with 18. Young Jose could be coming of age these finals, especially if he can lead the Knights to the finals.

London however are not a two-show pony and have the underrated Val Crumley chipping in 11 points and 8.1 assists per game, this is massive in the context of this battle. Val provides the jab that Mack and Jose can follow for the knockout blow. With Jean Larry patrolling the paint, the two guards that have been lighting it up from the T-Birds need to think twice before they drive into the paint as he is blocking 5 shots a game.

London need to play their game, if they bring their defensive intensity and not allow the T-Birds to play the offensive game their guards want, then this series will be theirs. But if they don't keep their starters out of foul trouble and on the court then their bench will not be able to overcome the T-Birds. The knights just have to keep their team approach and they should be marching into the final series.

Arizona Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds are riding the sensational form of PG Harry White. The 33 year old has gone to another level these play offs. Averaging 23.2 points a game to go along with his 6.8 assists with an impressive .457% from deep. Harry is like a fine wine that just keeps getting better. Harry is not a lone as a standout, SG Mark Marble complete this one two punch and is averaging another 20.8 points, that is hard for any team to combat.

What makes this Arizona team so competitive are their other contributors, Jordyn Hardin is cleaning up on the boards, which matters if all the offense is coming from the guards. He pulls down 12.2 boards a contest offering plenty of second chance points of chance for the fast break. If Jordyn is on song, then Elton Carnahan comes in and finishes the job, he is at 9.8 rebounds a night. This starting unit is rounded out by old mate "Angle cakes" Angel Kurzyna who at 35 is probably not going to get too many more bites at the cherry. He has been solid for the T-Birds and provides good support at 13 points, 5 boards and 1.8 assists a night.

What they need to be careful with are their turnovers, The offensive jug-a-nougat are not without their mistakes and both guards rank in the top few of turnovers committed a night, the Knights will need to capitalize on this fact, they also don't create steals for their guards which mean if the knights can limit their turnovers and the T-Birds outlets, they have a great chance of coming over the top of them.

Everyone knows where the offense is coming from with this team, and yet they can't be stopped. If the Knights want to move on then they need to make sure it is not the support staff that step up on the night. Arizona need someone from their bench to add something that the Knights didn't expect each night.

The BOLD prediction is that the Knights win in five. However, the lab series predictor has the Knights in a game seven thriller at home.

Like most fans, we have our thoughts on who should, could or will win. But for the neutral, like any bout, let's hope it is one for the ages.


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