This game can be seen on TNT as you’ll get the half-time and post- game opinions of Shaq, Ernie, Kenny, and Chuck. That alone is worth watching a game which should be very exciting as the Thunder’s backs are already against the wall.
According to 5 Dimes Sportsbook, the Spurs are a 6 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 210.5.
Is OKC In Trouble?
Game 1 went just as expected as the Spurs ran away with this game in the 2nd half and Kevin Durant took a seat in a 122-105 Spurs victory.
The Spurs were already going to be a tough matchup with Serge Ibaka in the lineup and now that he’s out for the entire playoffs, this leaves the Thunder with a major problem; they can’t stop the Spurs offense.
As most people expected, the loss of Ibaka, who is the defensive anchor of the Thunder basketball team, has really affected OKC negatively.
They need to come up with a different game plan because Kendrick Perkins can’t get his feet off of the ground, Thabo Sefalosha is mid-level bench player at best, and Steven Adams isn’t ready to deal with a legendary player like Tim Duncan.
The Thunder have no problems in scoring points with the combination of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant who combined for a modest 53 points in game 1, but Durant is a poor defensive player and OKC will have to make this a track meet and hit most of their shots to win game 2; that appears to be a tall order.
The Spurs already have the best head coach in basketball in Gregg Popovich and even though they have nobody that compares to Durant and Westbrook at this point in their career, the Spurs still have “The Big 3” in Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan along with a very deep team. When Duncan needs a blow, Tiago Splitter is right there to shove the basketball down the throats of the OKC defense.
Manu Ginobili is a unique player. Although he’s past his prime. Ginobili knows his role and when he needs to step it up. Against Portland, the Spurs were dominating and Ginobili could lay low, as his statistics indicated, but when playing a championship contender like the Thunder, Ginobili needs to be more of a factor and that’s just what he was in game 1 of this series.
In game 1, Ginobili came off of the bench to score 18 points in 27 minutes of play. He shot well, shooting 7 of 12 from the field and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Simply put, Ginobili is the “x-factor” in this series.
Slow Down The Pace?
I don’t know if Russell Westbrook is capable of slowing down the pace, but he must change up the pace of this game as the point guard of the Thunder basketball team.
If the tempo is too fast, the Spurs will eat OKC and their Swiss-Cheese defense alive. Look for a much lower scoring game in game 2. Kendrick Perkins must body-up the Spurs bigs and Stephen Adams needs the game of his life. If the Thunder can be effective at all on the defensive end, they have the regular season NBA MVP in Kevin Durant, who can go for 40 at will if he wanted to.
I’m going to stay away from the side and go with the total here. Take the under as we’ll see a much slower tempo in this game.
NBA Pick: Oklahoma City/San Antonio Under 210.5 at 5 Dimes