NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Clippers Game 3

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, May 8, 2014 5:46 PM GMT

Thursday, May. 8, 2014 5:46 PM GMT

The Thunder came back with a vengeance to tie the series at one a piece heading back to LA for Game 2. The NBA Odds are slightly in favor of the Clippers here, so what are the chances of OKC coming in and stealing home court back from LA as underdogs?

Total burn
We looked as if we were on pace to have the total sky over once again for us in Game 2, but after a high scoring 1st quarter, the scoring slowly dipped from there. However the final from Game 2 could represent a shift in the style of play for these two, and if they have both figured one another out on the defensive end, this could be our chance to cash the under for Game 3.

The NBA Odds have the Clippers as -3 ½ favorites, but the total of 213 ½ has dropped at least a full point from Game 2. However if the Thunder bring their defense and rebounding from Game 2 along with them to the City of Angels, this could be another game that the over looks good, but the under is actually the better play.

LA’s scoring does go up some when playing at home, but like I mentioned above, if the Thunder are that engaged on defense, it might not matter. Serge Ibaka held down Blake Griffin in Game 2, and no Clippers player had more than 18 points.

On top of their solid defense, the Thunder absolutely killed the Clippers on the glass in this game, which is probably the bigger reason why the Clippers’ scoring dropped some. LA depends on second chance points for a lot of their scoring, and with Griffin and Deandre Jordan not on the glass as much in Game 2, it led to the Thunder outrebounding the Clippers 52-36.

Ironically enough, not only did Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook lead the Thunder with a combined 63 points, but they were the leading rebounders as well with 12 and 10 respectfully. OKC’s aggression was enough to put the Clippers on their heels defensively, and even though this one is in LA, the Clippers need to make adjustments.


The Sharp Pick
However I do see LA improving their defense in Game 3 at home, and it could lead to the under being the play once again. Even though the total barely went under in Game 2, the more competitive Game 3 is, the more likely the total will go under. The Thunder will be wanting to recapture home court, so I have to think their aggression on defense will accompany them to LA. For the Clippers, they might need to think about double teaming Durant and/or Westbrook, because no one else on that team has proven they can score consistently, while the two Thunder stars have been the only offense for OKC to this point in the series.

I sincerely doubt Durant and Westbrook combined for more than 60 points again in Game 3 on the road, but I do see them stepping up the defense. Westbrook especially was very active on the defensive end in Game 2, ad his aggression and quickness gave the Clippers’ problems. I see another game where the under turns out to be the play.

My Pick: UNDER 213 ½

[gameodds]5/286085/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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