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The Western Conference Finals is set to get underway, and it is clear that the two best teams in the entire playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to be involved in the soiree. This should be a fantastic series, and many think that the winner of this series is going to go on to win the 2012 NBA Championship. Don’t miss out on all of our Oklahoma City vs. San Antonio picks for the postseason!
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #1 San Antonio Spurs Series Preview & Pick
The old guard vs. the new guard. The value of depth vs. two of the biggest stars in the game. These are all ways that we can bill this series between the Spurs and the Thunder. They clearly are two totally different teams, but both excel at what they do to the highest of levels.
We’ll start with the Thunder. They have had to play in some tight games over the course of the first two rounds of the playoffs, particularly at home. Oklahoma City has won all five of its games played in front of its hometown crowd, but three of those games really came down to the wire. There is just one loss here in the playoffs for the Thunder, an almost predictable Game 3 loss at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers. Still, there is no shame whatsoever in the fact that the Thunder have gone through the defending NBA champs, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Lakers in a total of just nine games. Kevin Durant is averaging 26.7 points per game, and Russell Westbrook is good for 24.1 points per game. James Harden has been off just a bit at 17.0 points per game, while Serge Ibaka doesn’t quite have the numbers that we are expecting either at 9.8 points, 6.1 boards, and 3.7 blocks per game. Still, it’s all going right at the moment for Oklahoma City, and it is tough to ignore just how talented this team really is when push comes to shove.
The Spurs were the most dangerous offensive team in the game this past season, and they did it with their depth. They know that they can count on any number of players, even here in the playoffs, and true to their form, the Spurs have had nine different players average at least 5.6 points per game here in the postseason. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili know what it takes to win a title, and they are still the three leading scorers on this team, though all of them have had their minutes cut just a bit over the course of the first two rounds of the playoffs. It’s working though, as there really has only been one close game in the postseason. San Antonio is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in the playoffs, and it is now 18-0 SU and 15-2-1 ATS dating back to the regular season. We haven’t seen a run the likes of this in quite some time in the NBA, and especially in this condensed season, this has been a remarkable feat. The Spurs have had the easier of the two roads to the Western Conference Finals for sure, going through the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz, but as the No. 1 seed in the West, they deserved that easier road.
Last year, the Thunder just didn’t have enough to figure out how to get through the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. This year, we think that they are going to really suffer a similar fate. The Spurs are just playing too well right now, and they have too many more options to turn to. If Oklahoma City doesn’t take one of these first two games in the Lone Star State, this series could be over relatively quickly, and though we think that most of the games are going to be tight when push comes to shove, we also think that the Spurs are going to ultimately win this series in just five games.
San Antonio Spurs in 5 (-210)