San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 5/19/14
Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23) at San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
NBA Basketball: Monday, May 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm (AT&T Center)
The Line: San Antonio Spurs -5.5 -- Over/Under: 208.5 See the Latest Odds
The San Antonio Spurs square off against Kevin Durant the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night.
Head to head, the Thunder are 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings and 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in San Antonio while the home team is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings and favorite is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings. The Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall, but just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. The Thunder on the other hand are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Just like out East, the top two teams in the conference made it all the way to the conference finals as the San Antonio Spurs come up against the league MVP in Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder squad. Speaking of OKC, their road to an NBA championship just got a whole lot harder with the news that Serge Ibaka is expected to miss the rest of the postseason after suffering a left calf injury in their series-clinching win Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, who they defeated 4-2 in the best-of-seven series. It's a cruel blow for a Thunder team that lost Russell Westbrook in last season's playoffs, which ultimately saw them knocked out in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies.
While Ibaka is a huge out for the Thunder, they should still be brimming with confidence knowing that they always play very well against San Antonio, having won five straight and eight out of 10 against the Spurs. They have also covered the spread on five straight occasions and seven of 10.
San Antonio does have a minor concern of their own as Tony Parker continues to recover from a hamstring strain, but he is expected to ready for the opener. While the Spurs need all seven games to get over their first-round opponent in the Dallas Mavericks, they had little trouble getting past the Portland Trail Blazers in round 2, winning the series in five games with an average winning margin of 19.5 points per contest.
If Ibaka were playing, there's no doubt the Thunder would be my pick here. While Nick Collison is a decent enough replacement, he can't replace what Serje does on both ends of the floor and I think OKC will need at least a game to adjust. The Spurs have looked awesome at home ever since Game 7 against the Mavs and I think they get the win and cover in Game 1....
Dan’s Pick: San Antonio -5.5
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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports