NBA Western Conference Finals: 2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 1 San Antonio Spurs
NBA Western Conference Finals  TV Coverage: TNT
NBA Series Odds at JustBet: San Antonio -220/+185

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NBA Western Conference Final Analysis: The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder kick off their best of seven Western Conference Finals tonight. The Thunder closed out their series last Thursday night, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 104-98 to win the series 4 games to 2. San Antonio had a slightly easier road, closing out their series with a dominant 104-82 victory over Portland last Wednesday night, to win their series 4 games to 1. On the injury front, Spurs point guard Tony Parker left Wednesday’s game with a pulled hamstring, yet backup Patty Mills filled in nicely with 18 points in 26 minutes of action. Parker practiced on Sunday, and will be a go for game 1. As for the Thunder, they suffered quite a blow as power forward Serge Ibaka suffered a grade 2 calf strain and will be out for the remainder of the playoffs. Ibaka was a factor in the first two rounds, averaging 12.2 ppg, while grabbing 7.3 rebounds and blocking 2.2 shots per contest.

The Thunder swept the season series winning each contest by an average of 9 ppg. While grabbing the +185 looks very tempting, I just think this San Antonio team is too talented. The loss of Serge Ibaka is huge, and without him, I do not have faith in the Thunder lineup for a third scorer to step up on a consistent basis in this series. It’s already been seen that while Durant and Westbrook are usually the guys that get the points, it’s rare that another guy steps up to contribute another 20 points. Ibaka’s defensive presence will be missed as well, as he did lead the league in blocked shots this season. Bottom line is that the Spurs are too experienced, and too deep. I also believe that Spurs Coach Greg Popovich has a defensive game plan in store for Oklahoma City, for he is not one to ‘show his hand’ in the regular season. Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs up and coming forward, may be called upon to defend Durant. Leonard does have the size and length to give Durant some problems. The Spurs have the better team, the better bench, and the better coach by far. The Thunder will make this a competitive series, and I believe we will see some value with them from a game by game ATS standpoint, but the Spurs are just too good and clicking on all cylinders.

Free NBA Western Conference Finals Pick: San Antonio Spurs -220
NBA Western Conference Finals Prediction: San Antonio wins series 4 games to 2

 

 

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