Game 1 - Thunder at Spurs
May 17, 2014
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Oklahoma City (67-28) at San Antonio (70-24)
Western Conference Finals - Game 1
Tip-off: Monday, 9:05 p.m. ET
Sportsbook.ag Line and Total: San Antonio -4.5, Total: 209
The final stage on the road to the NBA Finals is set, as the Western Conference Finals begins on Monday night with the Thunder visiting the Spurs.
After an exciting playoffs thus far, the top two seeds in the West have made it to the finals. The path has been tough though, as Oklahoma City went to seven games in its opening series against the defensive-minded Grizzlies and then needed six games to finish off the offensively talented Clippers. Overall in the postseason, the Thunder have gone 8-5 SU and 7-5-1 ATS while averaging a solid 104.5 PPG (45% FG).
San Antonio has also had difficulties getting to this points with a seven-game series to open the playoffs against the Mavericks, before an easier handling of the Trail Blazers in five games. The Spurs had gone 1-6 ATS in their first-round games but then went 4-1 ATS in the second round, defeating Portland by an average of 19.5 PPG in their four wins. Their offense has been extremely efficient so far in the playoffs, scoring 105.5 PPG (49.3% FG), while their defense has allowed just 98.7 PPG (43.7% FG).
Overall on the season, Oklahoma City has gone 29-18 SU (24-22-1 ATS) when playing on the road, including 4-2 SU (4-1-1 ATS) over the first two rounds. San Antonio, on the other hand, are 38-10 SU (24-24 ATS) at home this season and are 6-1 SU (4-3 ATS) in the playoffs. The Thunder have owned this series recently, sweeping their four meetings (SU and ATS) in this regular season by a sizable margin of 9.3 PPG. They are now 11-6 SU (12-4-1 ATS) against the Spurs over the past three seasons.
Bettors should take notice that Oklahoma City is 53-32 ATS (62%) after having won two of its previous three games over the past two seasons, but San Antonio is 108-73 ATS (60%) after five straight games committing 14 or less turnovers since 1996. P
F Serge Ibaka (calf) for the Thunder has been ruled 'out' for the postseason while Spurs PG Tony Parker (hamstring) is probable for this game.
The Thunder really struggled offensively in their first-round series (102.1 PPG on 43.5% FG and 32.4% threes), but scored 107.2 PPG (47.6% FG and 34.3% threes) in the series win over Los Angeles.
SF Kevin Durant (31.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.4 BPG in playoffs) has put up 30+ points in 9-of-13 postseason games and went for 39 points on 12-of-23 shooting while adding 16 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in Game 6 against the Clippers. He was also amazing from the free-throw line, making 58-of-66 (88%) from the charity stripe in the second round. Durant lit up San Antonio for 26.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 3.8 APG during the regular-season sweep, but also committed 6.0 TOPG.
PG Russell Westbrook (26.6 PPG, 8.4 APG, 8.0 RPG, 1.7 SPG in playoffs) also played well against the Spurs this season with 21.3 PPG, 7.3 APG and 2.0 SPG in three meetings, but had his worst game of the second round in Thursday's Game 6, netting 19 points on just 4-of-15 FG with 12 assists and two steals. Despite the poor shooting performance in the contest, Westbrook still made an impressive 49% from the field in the semifinals.
PG Reggie Jackson (10.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG in playoffs) has scored in double-digits in three of the past four games and has played 25+ minutes in each of those contests. C Stephen Adams (3.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.4 BPG in playoffs) had a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) in Game 6 as he played for the injured Serge Ibaka. His minutes will be increased for the remainder of the playoffs.
The Spurs dominated the Blazers in their five-game series, scoring 108.8 PPG (48.8% FG) against them while allowing just 95.4 PPG (41.8% FG). Although they had seven players average double-figures in the season series with Oklahoma City, San Antonio managed just 96.8 PPG on 44.2% FG in the four defeats.
Star PG Tony Parker (19.3 PPG, 4.9 APG in playoffs) left Game 5 of the second round with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain, but is expected to be fine for Monday’s game. He has often been the main source of scoring for the Spurs in this postseason, posting 20+ points in 6-of-12 games.
PF Tim Duncan (15.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG in playoffs) averaged just 13.8 PPG in the second round and shot only 46% from the field after hitting 58% FG in the opening round. The 38-year-old has also upped his minutes in the playoffs (33.8) from the regular season (29.2 MPG). Both Parker (20.5 PPG, 5.5 APG) and Duncan (14.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.8 BPG) played well versus the Thunder this season, but didn't get much help from teammates.
SF Kawhi Leonard (14.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.8 SPG in playoffs) was huge in the second round, averaging 17.0 PPG and 2.8 SPG while putting up a big effort in the series-clinching game on Wednesday with 22 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Leonard was efficient all-around in the series, shooting 56% from the field and 53% from three-point range.
SG Manu Ginobili (13.9 PPG, 4.3 APG, 1.8 SPG in playoffs) had just 8.6 PPG against the Trail Blazers while making just 29% FG, including 2-of-14 threes.
C Tiago Splitter (9.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.1 SPG in playoffs) had one double-double in the second round after doing so three times in the first round.
5-1 Last Night, 12-4 Overall
8-2 L2 Days, 9-1 Totals TY
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