The Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs - 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 -4 -- Over/Under: 210 See the Latest Odds
The Oklahoma City and the San Antonio Spurs kick off the Western Conference Finals tonight with Game 1.
It's fantastic to see that just like in the Eastern Conference, the top two seeds in the West will collide for a ticket to the NBA Finals. The Thunder really struggled against the Grizzlies in the first round but were still able to advance to the second where they really hit their stride against the Clippers. Kevin Durant has averaged 31.4 points through the playoffs so far and has been well supported by his running mate in Russell Westbrook who is averaging 26.6 points 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists. The big news however, is that Serge Ibaka injured his calf in Game 6 against the Clippers and is expected to miss the remainder of the playoffs which will really affect them on both sides of the floor. That means that Kendrick Perkins and Steven Adams will both see an increase in minutes but no one can replace Ibaka's block production.
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Meanwhile, the Spurs were also taken to seven games against the Mavericks in the first round but they were able to really pick up speed in the second round where they tore the Blazers apart by 4-1. Tim Duncan has been consistent as ever, averaging 15.8 points and 8.3 rebounds while Tony Parker has averaged 19.3 points and 4.9 assists, but it remains to be seen if Parker will be at full health for Game 1. Fortunately, even if Parker sits out the first game entirely, no team can boast a supporting cast like the Spurs who own the league's highest scoring bench.
In ATS trends, the Thunder are 10-1-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings overall and 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings in San Antonio.
All the experts are downplaying the significance of Ibaka's absence for this series but I really think it's going to hurt them here. I really like the Spurs to open the series with a win here.