2014 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Finals – Game #2
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder at #1 San Antonio Spurs
AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: San Antonio -6
Current Line: San Antonio -6
Opening Total: 210 1/2
Current Total: 211
Opening Money Line: Spurs -260 / Thunder +220
Current Money Line: Spurs -265 / Thunder +225
The Oklahoma City Thunder won all four meetings during the regular season against the San Antonio Spurs. However, all four of those wins came with forward Serge Ibaka in the line-up. It was a different story though Monday night in game one of the Western Conference Finals as the Spurs grabbed a 122-105 win, Ibaka severely strained his calf in the last series against the Los Angeles Clippers and is out for the remainder of the postseason. The Thunder look to rebound and even the series before the series shifts to Oklahoma City for games 3 and 4 starting Sunday.
San Antonio took a 30-27 lead at the end of the first and expanded the lead to 67-59 by halftime. Oklahoma City rallied and briefly took a 76-75 lead in the third. However, San Antonio would lead by seven going into the fourth. The Spurs pulled away in the fourth and would win by 17.
While the Thunder got good offensive production, they really struggled on defense without Ibaka. Oklahoma City gave up a ridiculous 66 points in the paint and the Spurs shot 58% from the field. OKC also had 16 turnovers which didn’t help.
Tim Duncan scored 27 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists to lead the Spurs. Manu Ginobili scored 18 points off the bench after struggling in the second round against the Portland Trail Blazers. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard each scored 16 points for the Spurs. Tony Parker added 14 points and 12 assists despite nursing a sore hamstring. Kevin Durant scored 28 points with 9 rebounds and 5 assists for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook added 25 points with 7 assists and 5 rebounds. The problem was the other three Thunder starters Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha, and Nick Collison (starting in place of Ibaka) combined for 5 points and 13 rebounds. Derek Fisher scored 16 and Reggie Jackson scored 13 off the bench for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City is coached by Scott Brooks. OKC is 49-43-3 ATS and the total is 50-45 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 51-44 ATS and the total is 53-41-1 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 3-0-1 ATS after failing to cover, 4-0 after the opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game, 4-1 after allowing 100 points or more in the previous game, in conference finals games, one one day rest, and after scoring 100 points or more, 4-1-1 in road games and against teams with winning home records. The Thunder are 10-2-1 ATS in the last 13 games against the Spurs. The over is 5-2 in the last 7 games in San Antonio in the series.
San Antonio is 5-0 ATS at home and against teams with winning road records, 6-1 against teams with winning records, overall and against Western Conference teams, 5-1 against Northwest Division teams, on one day rest, and after scoring 100 points or more, 4-1 after a straight up win, in conference finals games, after a cover, and after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 3-7 after the opponent scores 100 points and allows 100 points in the previous game, and 2-7 after allowing 100 points or more. The home team and favorite are both 7-2-1 ATS in this series recently.
Oklahoma City must play better defense or this will be a short series. The Thunder were down in both of their playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies and the LA Clippers. However, neither one of those teams are as deep and disciplined at the Spurs. Oklahoma City might need to get even more from Westbrook and Durant but I don’t even know if that is possible. I think the Spurs win game two but it will be much closer.