The start of the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs is just hours away from getting underway. This 2014 NBA Playoff betting preview and brief series analysis will help you make the most out of your betting bucks over the course of what looks like an interesting conference finals just waiting to happen.
— NBA (@NBA) May 16, 2014
No. 1 San Antonio Spurs (62-20) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder (58-24)
- Game 1 in San Antonio: Monday, May 19, 9 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 2 in San Antonio: Wednesday, May 21, 9 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 3 in Oklahoma City: Sunday, May 25, 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 4 in Oklahoma City: Tuesday, May 27, 9 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 5* in San Antonio: Thursday, May 29, 9 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 6* in Oklahoma City: Saturday, May 31, 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT
- Game 7* in San Antonio: Monday, June 2, 9 p.m. ET, TNT
Season series: Thunder swept 4-0.
|SAN ANTONIO SPURS||OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER|
|Tony Parker||Russell Westbrook|
|Danny Green||Thabo Sefolosha|
|Kawhi Leonard||Kevin Durant|
|Tim Duncan||Serge Ibaka|
|Tiago Splitter||Kendrick Perkins|
San Antonio Spurs (70-24 SU, 50-44 ATS, 52-41-1 O/U)
How the Spurs got here: Beat No. 5 seed Portland Trail Blazers 4-1 in the second round, beat No. 8 seed Dallas Mavericks 4-3 in the first round.
Oklahoma City Thunder (67-28 SU, 50-42 ATS, 49-46 O/U)
How the Thunder got here: Beat No. 3 seed Los Angeles Clippers 4-2 in the second round, beat No. 7 seed Memphis Grizzlies 4-3 in the first round.
Points per game: Spurs 105.4, Thunder 106.2
Points allowed per game: Spurs 97.6, Thunder 99.8
Matchups worth watching: Spurs PG Tony Parker vs. Thunder PG Russell Westbrook, Spurs SF Kawhi Leonard vs. Thunder SF Kevin Durant.
Scoring leaders: Parker (16.7 points a game), Durant (32.0).
Why San Antonio will win: The Spurs will win this series simply because they’re the best and most well-balanced team in all of basketball. San Antonio has the best mix of veteran leadership – and youthful legs – of any team in the league, not to mention the fact that they’ve also got the best head coach in the game today in Gregg Popovich. The Spurs will find a way to neutralize pretty much every player on Oklahoma City’s roster outside of Durant and Westbrook, while getting routine double-digit point production from about five players each time out. The Spurs will also win because Scott Brooks isn’t in the same class of head coaches as Popovich.
Why Oklahoma City will win: Oklahoma City will win because they’ve got two absolutely unstoppable players in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook – and a secret weapon type of player in backup point guard Reggie Jackson.
San Antonio doesn’t have a single player (nor does anyone else) that can stop either of the Thunder’s two superstars or their backup floor leader, though small forward Kawhi Leonard is a very competent defender that should be able to at least slow Durant down on occasion. The Spurs struggle against speed and athleticism – and those are Oklahoma City’s best weapons.
Series Analysis: I like the Spurs to win this series mostly because Oklahoma City reverts to stand-around one-on-one type of basketball when things aren’t going well. Not only that, but the Spurs are so deep, they can almost literally call in an AT&T arena popcorn vendor to come in off the bench for them and hit shots.
When the going gets tough, I think Gregg Popovich will coach circles around Scott Brooks, helping the Spurs win this series in seven thrilling games.