The Thunder looked like they were going to blow this home game, however some last second mistakes by the Clippers, a questionable call, and the fantastic athleticism from Russell Westbrook saved the day. Chris Paul fouled Westbrook on a three pointer and that would end up being the biggest of the mistakes made by LA down the stretch. Now after that horrific turn of events, the NBA Odds still have the Clippers as -4 ½ favorites at home, with a total of 212.
Westbrook has been absolutely incredible throughout these playoffs, but over the last few games, the Clippers have basically shaped their defense to allow him to get whatever he wants, in order to slow down Durant. It seemed to be working for Game 4. Durant shot only 6-22 from the floor in Game 4, while Westbrook went nuts for 38 points on 11-23 from the floor.
Westbrook gets a lot of criticism when things aren’t going well in OKC, however it has been, and will continue to be completely unwarranted. Notice you don’t see any of the people claiming the Thunder are better without Westbrook hanging around Twitter after Tuesday’s game. Westbrook has now proven that even if you overplay on Durant, the Thunder can still beat you, and even though they probably should not have won Game 5, they end up heading to LA for a chance to move onto the Western Conference Finals.
The Sharp Pick
We cashed the 'under' in Game 5 of this series, and before last night this postseason, the 'under' has not been a great bet in elimination games. However after last night, the NBA pick 'under' is now 8-7 this postseason in a game where one or both teams are facing elimination, and I think we will continue to see that trend evolve more as the postseason goes on. The later we get into the postseason, I think the totals will start to get smaller and smaller. Not only are these guys starting to get tired, but also the bigger the game, the more defense you can expect from both sides.
At 212, this total might still be a little too high for the scale of this game here in LA. With elimination being on the table, both defenses should be amped up for this crucial game. So for this series, the 'under' has now cashed in three of the last four games, and heading back to LA, the Clippers should be on their game more than they were in Game 5. Chris Paul probably won’t foul on a three pointer again, and with the 'under' starting to trend in the right direction now in elimination games; take the 'under'.
The Sharp Pick: 'Under' 212