NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Saturday

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, May 31, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Saturday.

Just like the first five games of the Western Conference Finals, home court should make all the difference Saturday night when the top seeded San Antonio Spurs (73-26, 32-16 away) pay a visit to the second seeded Oklahoma City Thunder (69-31, 40-10 home) for Game 6 from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK at 8:35 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT with the Spurs leading the series 3-2

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Oklahoma City as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -3½ with odds of -106.

It is a good thing that the Spurs finished with the best record in the NBA and thus have home court advantage in this series, because home teams have absolutely dominated in the first five game and we see more of the same in Game 6. In fact, the Thunder are now a perfect 9-0 both straight up and ATS in the last nine head-to-head meetings with the Spurs combining the regular season and playoffs while winning those games by an average of +11.1 points!

Granted home court probably means more in the NBA than in any other sport, but this series is taking that belief to drastic extremes. After the Thunder got back into this series with home wins in Game 3 and Game 4, the Spurs re-established command in emphatic fashion in San Antonio in Game 5 in a 117-89 romp. That means that the three San Antonio wins in this series, obviously all at home, have been by an average of 26.7 points.

Luckily for the Thunder, this game is at Chesapeake Arena where they are 40-10 for the whole year and where they dominated their two wins in this series defensively with Serge Ibaka showing no ill effects of the calf injury that was supposed to have ended his season. Oklahoma City held the Spurs to 39.6 percent shooting in Game 3 and 39.8 percent shooting in Game 4, a far cry from the combined 53.1 percent the Spurs have shot at home this series!

Yes, we realize that Ibaka had his worst game of the series in San Antonio on Thursday with just six points, two rebounds, two blocks and perhaps most importantly a -10 +/-, but perhaps the adrenaline of feeding off of the energy of his home fans was a reason why he was able to set aside his pain in the two Thunder home wins, and we will now once again see that Ibaka back at home tonight.

And his elite defense was apparently contagious based on the San Antonio shooting percentages in this building, especially with the Spurs scoring exactly zero fast-break points in Game 4!

Another contrast at home and away in this series has been the points in the paint for San Antonio. Granted Ibaka was out the first two games in San Antonio when the Spurs took advantage by outscoring the Thunder 120-74 in the paint, but he was there for Game 5 when the Spurs won the paint battle, albeit slightly, 40-36. Meanwhile it was the Thunder that outscored the Spurs 90-76 in the paint in the two games in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder also made another big change by inserting Reggie Jackson into the starting lineup in Game 3 in place of the offensively challenged Thabo Sefolosha, and that forced the Spurs to play more “honestly” on defense instead of playing basically 5-on-2 the first two games with MVP Kevin Durant and the other half of the Dynamic Duo Russell Westbrook getting no support, and thus Oklahoma City scored 106 and 105 points respectively in the two wins.

Yes, Game 5 in San Antonio closely resembled Game 1 and Game 2 even with Jackson and Ibaka now in the starting lineup, but given the home dominance throughout this series, look for Oklahoma City to once again answer at home to force a deciding Game 7 with a safe home win in Game 6 Saturday.

[gameodds]5/291363/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Thunder -3½ (-106)