Let's see what we can muster up for tonight's Game 2 between San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
NBA odds list the Spurs as 4.5-point favorites, a small
change from the first matchup in which San Antonio was favored by 5.5. The
total has also dropped, with tonight's encounter set at 201, a considerable
difference from Sunday's number of 204.5.
Game 1 was a fun watch, played at a breathless pace. The
Thunder really brought it and were up by as many as nine points, but they saw their
lead evaporate in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs outscored OKC 39-27 in the last period of play and
ended up with the 101-98 victory. Only a last-second three from James Harden
stopped us from cashing San Antonio -5.5.
In terms of individual play, the Thunder got a good night
out of Kevin Durant, but Harden and Russell Westbrook weren't up to scratch.
Durant had a game-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds, four
assists, three blocks and two steals. His partner-in-crime, Westbrook, shot
just 7-of-21 from the floor however and finished with 17 points, while Harden's
late threes made his night look a lot better on the surface than it really was.
SA holds serve in Game 1
The Spurs meanwhile looked hesitant in the early stages of
the game, but they finally found their stride when it mattered most.
Manu Ginobili was terrific, scoring 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting and chipping
in with five boards and three dimes too. Tony Parker had 18 points, eight
rebounds and six assists and Tim Duncan had 16 points and 11 rebounds for his
fifth double-double of the playoffs.
The fact San Antonio didn't even play all that well and
still managed to win is one reason that I am adding a Spurs cover to my NBA picks tonight.
It was a shaky overall performance from the Spurs, who had
17 total turnovers (14 in the first half) and hit only 17-of-25 from the
charity stripe. They looked timid to open the game but found their stride and
mounted their comeback.
Danny Green, who scored in double figures in five of the
team's first eight playoff games, was scoreless in the victory while Duncan,
Parker and Kawhi Leonard (3-of-9 FG) didn't have their most efficient shooting
It helped though that San Antonio completely ruled the roost
inside, outscoring Oklahoma City 50-18 in the paint. Is that going to be a
common occurrence in this series?
We'll have to see. On the whole though, the Spurs were getting much better looks than the Thunder in Game 1.
Spread the wealth
San Antonio also has the clearly superior depth. Harden had
19 points and Derek Fisher came out of nowhere and went for 13, yet the Thunder
were still outscored 52-37 in bench points. Ginobili was near unstoppable,
while Gary Neal (5-of-9 FG for 12 points) and Tiago Splitter (nine points and
six boards) helped out too.
Oklahoma City's offense is completely a three-man show (a
terrific one at that), while San Antonio straight up have ten guys who can
score. Even when Danny Green couldn't get going, there Leonard and Diaw were
(15 combined points) to cover with minimal but still highly important offensive
We knew it would be like this, but in Game 1 we saw Durant,
Westbrook and Harden take a total of 57 shots. If one of them isn't feeling it,
it's going to be tough for OKC to keep pace with this San Antonio team.
The Spurs can rely on a number of different outlets for
inspiration and their method of team ball, in our estimation, will guide them
to a 2-0 series lead and an ATS cover in Game 2.
In terms of the total, the OVER has now cashed in four of
the last five head-to-head meetings and we like it to hit in the second game of
Despite a low-scoring game for three of the four quarters in
Game 1, it was a frantic pace and the two teams chucked up 47 threes between
them as well. There's no reason we should expect anything different tonight.
Parlay: San Antonio Spurs -4.5 & OVER 201