Thanks to Kyrie Irving missing a late third quarter free throw before being taken out of the game, we split a pair of NBA Picks yesterday. However, we’re 3-1 in our last four, and I am back.
Steven Adams O/U 20 points and rebounds
Steven Adams has been a newfound force for the Thunder in this series, but Billy Donovan has suddenly realized that a guy who was a force in the second round doesn't exactly make him a force in the third round. After playing over 35 minutes for seven straight games dating back to the Spurs series, Adams has played 25 or fewer minutes in the last two games.
This has not only been because of foul trouble, but because of the need to go small. Serge Ibaka has been playing center in the Thunder's small lineup, and it has led to a drastic reduction in minutes for Adams and Enes Kanter. It hasn't hurt the Thunder's defense either, and after cashing on a prop that we bet against Adams getting a double-double, I am doing something similar with his points and rebounds prop tonight.
20 points and rebounds are a lot for a guy who has gotten his minutes cut by about a third over the last two games. With how well the Thunder are playing on offense when going small, I can't see them reverting back here tonight, even on the road. Adams' has also gotten at least four fouls in five of his last seven games, so he may limit himself tonight as well. However, his per-36 numbers in the playoffs are averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds per game, which would barely cash the over of this prop. Assuming he gets no more minutes than he got in Game 4, I am willing to bet on him having fewer than 20 total points and rebounds.
NBA Pick: UNDER 20 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Bovada
Serge Ibaka O/U 19 points and rebounds
When I saw this prop I did about a double and triple take. Has Bovada been watching the same last two games as the rest of us? Sure, Serge Ibaka hasn't been getting 36 minutes or anything, but he has gotten 32 and 33, and it has sent his numbers upward. Ibaka is averaging 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game over his last two games, and the move to center has really helped him.
Not only is he still playing well to start at power forward, his move to center at times in the series has helped his rebounding some, and overall in this series he is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game. With his Usage Rate going up as well, I se no reason why he cant go over 19 points and rebounds in this one.
The one thing that scares me is playing in Golden State though. However, his scoring on the road has not been the problem, as he is averaging about 12 points per game on the road in the playoffs, and that is with two games where he didn't score more than five points. His rebounding has been solid in this series, so I expect at least another 12-14 points and seven or eight rebounds from Ibaka to cash the over in this one for my NBA Pick.
NBA Pick: OVER 19 (-115)
Best Line Offered: at Bet365