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Russell Westbrook.

Watch: Paul Pierce predicts that OKC will win the championship this season

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With the 2017/18 NBA season just days away from tipping off, many are already predicting that the same two teams will go head to head for the championship in June.

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers became the first teams to contest three straight Finals last season and it is a safe bet to say they'll make it a quadruple.

With multiple stars leaving the Eastern Conference, the Cavs' passage to the biggest stage appears to be clearer than ever before.

The Warriors are unsurprisingly the overwhelming favourites to win it all again but their route should be more challenging this year.

The Houston Rockets added All-Star point guard Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

As well as those improved teams, the San Antonio Spurs always deserve a mention with the league's best head coach in Gregg Popovich at the helm and a superstar in Kawhi Leonard.

In the recent annual general manager's survey, 93 percent of executives picked Golden State as this year's champions.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves

You would be hard-pressed to find anybody betting against the Warriors but one man who is willing to do so is Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce.

On an episode of ESPN's 'The Jump' this week, 'The Truth' made a crazy prediction for who he thinks will win the title.

"The Oklahoma City Thunder will raise the Larry O'Brien trophy this year, with Russell Westbrook being the MVP," Pierce said.

The Thunder certainly had the best offseason of any team as they gave up very little in capturing PG13 and Carmelo.

Offensively, they may be able to compete with the Warriors but they may struggle to do so on the defensive end of the floor.

Also, outside of their new big three of Westbrook, George and Melo, there isn't much depth on the roster compared to the deep squad they have in the Bay Area.

OKC will certainly be in the mix and could potentially make the conference finals, but they are likely to fall short against the defending champions.

Melbourne United v Oklahoma City Thunder

But one thing is for sure, they will be more determined than any other team in the west to dethrone the Warriors as they'd love to overcome their former star, Kevin Durant.

A little extra spice was even added to this mini rivalry as ESPN's Zach Lowe recently claimed that the champs “don’t fear” Westbrook and says his “style of play is so easy to defend; it’s like cake to them.”

A playoff showdown between these two franchises would be blockbuster viewing but there's a long way to go before we start thinking that far ahead.

Topics:
Paul George
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Kevin Durant

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