OKC looks to stay alive
May 15, 2013
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Wednesday NBA Action
The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder face elimination tonight as both look to find a way to extend the series and try to come back from a 3-1 hole. Chicago doesn’t really have a chance to as 14.5-point underdogs on the road in Miami as they are clearly the overmatched team in this series. But Oklahoma City can come back, especially with two of three on their own floor, if they can get a strong performance tonight from their supporting cast the belief that they could still win this series will come back:
Memphis (+4.5) vs. Oklahoma City (-4.5); Total set at 185
OKC returns home after dropping both games in Memphis and losing three straight in this series. They are 0-4 ATS in this series because of it and need somebody other than Durant to step up and play the game of their life to simply have a chance. The duo of Gasol/Randolph is too much for the Thunder to handle and with Mike Conley coming into his own in these playoffs, OKC has to play near perfect just to win.
With their season on the line I do expect OKC to come out with guns blazing. Including the playoffs they have still only lost nine games at home this year and should benefit a bit from Memphis potentially getting a little “comfortable” up 3-1 in the series. With no Westbrook, Memphis has keyed on Durant and forced others to beat them. Obviously that has worked quite well in this series; especially during the games in Memphis. But home games are where the bench (of all NBA teams) typically plays better because they are more comfortable in those surroundings. After a strong performance in Game 4 from the likes of Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin, I think these two keep it rolling tonight and shoot even better back on their own floor. Despite the constant harassment, Durant will shoot better than 10 for 27 tonight (Game 4), and he won’t be shy to put the team on his back in the 4th and secure the win.
Memphis won four straight to eliminate the Clippers in Round 1 but that fourth game was also at home where they are still undefeated in the playoffs. This is a much tougher building to play in and the Grizzlies have got to be feeling a little content up 3-1 and having a home game still remaining. Their confidence at home to get the job done is unflappable and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have a bit of an “off-night” tonight. Don’t get me wrong, Memphis would love to close this series out sooner than later but with OKC’s motivation levels on the side of desperation and Memphis feeling content, I think Durant and company find a way to get one last win this year.