The San Antonio Spurs have completely dismantled the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals averaging a margin of victory of 26.0 points. So why are the Thunder the slight favourites in Game 3 pegged chalked at 2.5 points?
Could it be because of the reports that Serge Ibaka, who suffered a calf injury in Game 6 of their previous series versus the Los Angeles Clippers, will be returning in Game 3?
Ibaka himself admitted that even with him the Thunder could have been outplayed by the Spurs in San Antonio.
"I've been hearing a lot of people saying my team lost two games because I was out," Ibaka said in an NBA.com article. "That's not true. I believe in my guys. I believe in my teammates. They can be better with me or without me. It's no excuse because Serge Ibaka was not there. Just San Antonio, the first two games, they played better basketball."
Ibaka’s status is still up on the air pending the team doctors’ decision.
For OKC to beat the Texas team featuring veterans Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili plus young gun Kawhi Leonard, they should play better defensively than what they showed in the first two games where the Spurs dropped 108.5 points per game.
Betting Lines: San Antonio Spurs (+2.5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Over/Under: 208.5) Game time: 10:30 am AEDT (May 26, Monday)
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
San Antonio Spurs Trends - The Spurs are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games - The Spurs are 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games vs. the Thunder - The Spurs are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games vs. the Thunder in Oklahoma City - The Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in the West Finals - The Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after a win
Oklahoma City Thunder Trends - The Thunder are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games after an ATS loss - The Thunder are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games after a loss - The Thunder are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games vs. the Spurs in Oklahoma City - The Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after a 3-day rest - The Thunder are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games vs. the Spurs
Can Kevin Durant (6-of-16 FG for 15 points) and Russell Westbrook (7-of-24 FG for 15 points) score efficiently in Game 3? Can OKC find other contributors to negate San Antonio’s balanced scoring?
With or without Ibaka, can the Thunder slow down the Spurs which shot over 50 per cent from the field in the first two outings?
Prediction: Finally, an inspired and confident Thunder will play well for four quarters. After all, they have the MVP (not Durant’s mom) and an explosive scorer. Both should go off in Game 3 while the Spurs relaxes a bit and settles to just go for the win in the next game… Oklahoma City Thunder 104, San Antonio Spurs 81.