NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals: Oklahoma City Thunder vs San Antonio Spurs

2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Finals 

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #2 Oklahoma City Thunder
Best of Seven Series Format: 2-2-1-1-1
Series Price: Spurs -245 / Thunder +205
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook

Game #1 – Monday, May 19, 2014, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Opening Line: San Antonio -4 1/2
Current Line: San Antonio -5 1/2
Opening Total: 210
Current Total: 208 1/2
Opening Money Line: Spurs -190 / Thunder +162
Current Money Line: Spurs -250 / Thunder +210

The Spurs and Thunder meet in the Western Conference Finals. Game one is Monday night in San Antonio.

The Spurs and Thunder meet in the Western Conference Finals. Game one is Monday night in San Antonio.

The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder meet in the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons. The Thunder won in six games in 2012 after losing the first two games of the series in San Antonio. Game one of this series is Monday night in San Antonio. The winner of the series between the Spurs and Thunder will face either the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat in the NBA Finals next month.

 

Oklahoma City won the Northwest Division with a 59-23 record. The Thunder are the #2 seed in the West and finished 3 games behind San Antonio for the best record in the league. In the first round of the playoffs, the Thunder overcame series deficits of 2-1 and 3-2 to beat the #7 seed Memphis Grizzlies in seven tough games. There were four straight overtime games in that series. In the second round, Oklahoma City beat the #3 seed Los Angeles Clippers in six games. The Thunder won game six 104-98 Thursday night in LA to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the third time in the last 4 seasons.

San Antonio won the Southwest Division with a 62-20 record. The Spurs beat the #8 seed Dallas Mavericks in the first round in seven games after being down 2-1 early in the series. San Antonio then dispatched the #5 seed Portland Trail Blazers in five games. All four Spurs’ wins against the Blazers were by 15 points or more, including a 104-82 win at home in game five Wednesday night. San Antonio is playing in their third straight Western Conference Finals.

Oklahoma City won all four regular season meetings against San Antonio. The Thunder won in Oklahoma City 98-88 on November 27 and 106-94 April 3. The April win snapped a 19 game winning streak for San Antonio. Oklahoma City also won in San Antonio 113-100 December 21 and 111-105 January 22. This this the fourth time in NBA history that a team that was won at least 4 times against a team met them in the conference final. The team that swept won all three previous series.

Oklahoma City is coached by Scott Brooks. OKC is 49-42-3 ATS and the total is 49-45 this season.

Oklahoma City is outscoring teams 105-101 in the playoffs. The Thunder are shooting 45.3% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. Oklahoma City is making 83.5% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 43.3% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. Oklahoma City averages 46.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 40.7 per game. OKC averages 19.4 assists, 15.5 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 6.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 22.8 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 8.8 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.

Forward Kevin Durant is the first player to win MVP and the scoring title in the same season since Allen Iverson in 2001. In the playoffs he is averaging 31.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Point guard Russell Westbrook averages 26.6 points, 8 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game. No player has averaged 25 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the playoffs since Oscar Robertson. Forward Serge Ibaka averages 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2.7 blocks per game. He strained his calf in game six against the Clippers and is out for the rest of the playoffs.  Guard Reggie Jackson averages 10.7 points, 4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Forward Caron Butler, acquired at the trade deadline from the Milwaukee Bucks, averages 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1 assist and per game. Jeremy Lamb, Thabo Sefolosha, Derek Fisher, Nick Collison, Perry Jones, Kendrick Perkins, and Steven Adams will also get significant minutes in the rotation.

San Antonio is coached by Gregg Popovich, who won his third NBA coach of the year award this season. San Antonio is 50-44 ATS and the total is 52-41-1 this season.

San Antonio is outscoring teams 106-99 in the playoffs. The Spurs are shooting 49.3% from the field and 38.8% from 3 point range. San Antonio makes 74.7% from the line. Opponents are shooting 43.7% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. San Antonio is averaging 42.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.9 per game. The Spurs average 20.6 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 3.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 18 assists, 13.4 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.

Point guard Tony Parker averages 19.3 points, 4.9 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. Parker is probable with a hamstring injury. Forward Tim Duncan averages 15.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game. Forward Kawhi Leonard averages 14 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Manu Ginobili averages 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.8 steal per game. Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres, and Matt Bonner will also get significant minutes.

Oklahoma City is 4-0 ATS in Conference Final games, and after scoring 100 points or more in the previous game, 4-0-1 in road games and against teams with winning home records, 4-1 after a straight up win, against teams with winning records, after the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game, overall and against Western Conference teams, and 3-9 in Monday games. The Thunder are 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 against the Spurs, including 3-1-1 in San Antonio. The under is 6-2 in this series recently.

San Antonio is 4-0 at home, and against teams with winning road records, 5-1 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Western Conference teams, 4-1 against Northwest Division teams, and after scoring 100 points or more in the previous game, 14-5 after a cover, 11-4 after a straight up win of more than 10 points, and 2-7 after the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game. The favorite and home team are both 9-3-1 ATS recently in this series.

The loss of Ibaka hurts the Thunder immensely as he is their top defender and shot blocker. Still, Durant and Westbrook have been playing out of their minds in the playoffs. The Thunder are much better when they get scoring from the other players though. Without Ibaka, Jackson, Butler and Adams are going to have to pick up the scoring slack. I think the Spurs win a close game one and win the series in seven games.

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