The Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the team with the best record in the league going 4-0 against the San Antonio Spurs in the regular season. Can Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder continue to stamp their class on Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the Spurs in the playoffs?
Game 1 of their best-of-seven series in the Western Conference Finals is set on Monday (Tuesday morning Australia) and the Thunder are hard-pressed to take the opening game—or even the series—as starting power forward Serge Ibaka is out for the postseason with a left calf injury.
For the series, the Thunder are priced at 2.73 to advance to the NBA Finals with the Spurs favoured at 1.48. Similar numbers are pegged for the opening game of the conference finals with Oklahoma City as the underdog at 2.95 and the Spurs at 1.42 to draw first blood. The Thunder are also ‘dogs by 5.5 points to cover the spread.
Without Ibaka, two OKC bigs will be asked to do more than what was expected of them in this postseason: veteran Nick Collison and rookie Steven Adams. Both of who has had good performances in previous series versus the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers but only in limited minutes. Can one or both actually contribute in this series against veterans Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw?
With or without Ibaka, the Thunder will rely on Durant and Westbrook anyway and the Spurs know they have their hands full in stopping OKC’s dynamic duo and athletic freaks. Can Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili at least neutralize the pair’s production?
Betting Lines: Oklahoma City Thunder (+5.5) vs. San Antonio Spurs Game time: 11:00 am AEDT
Oklahoma City Thunder Trends - The Thunder are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games on the road - The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games - The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after a win
San Antonio Spurs Trends - The Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games at home - The Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games - The Spurs are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games after an ATS win