By Charles Jay
What can the Oklahoma City Thunder possibly do to reverse their fortunes against the San Antonio Spurs? As VietBet customers probably understand by now, it’s not just a matter of tweaking a couple of things to give the Spurs a different look, as the lack of flexibility in terms of personnel makes it difficult, particularly on the front line. But coach Scott Brooks has to work with the hand he was dealt, and that means one or both of his star offensive players are going to have to step it up to a new level if the Thunder are to make things even in this series, which began on Monday night with a 122-105 defeat to the Spurs.
Game 2 is set for 9 PM ET on Wednesday night, and takes place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. As the Spurs seek to go up by two games in the series, they are laying points (obviously) once again according to the NBA playoff odds that have been posted at VietBet:
- San Antonio Spurs -6
- Oklahoma City Thunder +6
- Over 211.5 points -110
- Under 211.5 points -110
San Antonio was so dominant in the paint in Game 1 that it reached superlative levels; in fact, the 66 points the Spurs scored their was tied for the most OKC allowed all season long. And this can be directly traced to the absence of Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka, who is going to miss the rest of the playoffs, however long that lasts for Oklahoma City. Ibaka is an intimidating defensive presence on the inside; he was the second leading shot-blocker in the league and is known to be able to alter opponents’ shots.
VietBet patrons saw that having Nick Collison with Steven Adams, or with Kendrick Perkins up front did not offer anything in the way of a solution. A lot of teams have success by going “small,” but San Antonio can carve that kind of thing up because they are just going to attack the basket. Tim Duncan came out and scored 21 points in the first half on Monday night, and he and Tiago Splitter were also very tough to deal with on defense. So was Danny Green, who not only made four three-pointers, but also shut down whoever he was guarding. His +30 rating (representing the difference in points scored and allowed when he was on the floor) was pretty astounding; the next best plus / minus rating in the game was +12.
NBA playoff bettors who would like to side with OKC have to be scratching their heads as to what the Thunder can do to significantly reduce the sizzling shooting percentage of the Spurs in Game 1 (58%). Making them take more chances at the free throw line won’t likely constitute much of a difference. Losing Ibaka is so significant, because the depth on the front line is thin. And on the perimeter, the Thunder will have to cover some ground as well, especially if Manu Ginobili and Green can connect from the three-point arc once again.
Could it be another of these situations where Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (who scored 53 of the 105 points in Game 1) put so much energy into the offense – because they have to – that they will suffer on defense? That is a critical question that there may be no satisfactory answer for, at least if you are a Thunder fan.
If you sign up with VietBet today, you can enjoy Live Betting Extra, which gives you a lot of wagering options during a game….Keep the action going all night long, and get the fastest payouts in the business!