Game 6 – OKC Vs Spurs
NBA Playoff Game Prediction & Betting Line
By Dan Favale
Oklahoma City Thunder (+1.5) vs. San Antonio Spurs (-1.5)
It is attestament to just how great the San Antonio Spurs are that they are favored in an elimination game, on the road, against an Oklahoma City Thunder squad that has bested them in two straight appearances. But can they finally parlay that established greatness, that respect, into a big time win?
The answer is tentatively yes, because we have no other choice but to make it tentatively yes. The Spurs were that good during the regular season, and more importantly, they have squandered that many opportunities in this series alone.
That’s the thing about all this, about believing in the Spurs when, if it was any other team, you would run and never look back. More than the Thunder have put them in this 3-2 hole, the Spurs have dug themselves into this win or go home situation. They are missing a ton of open shots.
They are reverting to Kawhi Leonard isolation sets instead of moving the ball in a way that’s earned them immortality over the last two decades or so. They have failed to get either Leonard or LaMarcus Aldrige involved consistently during fourth quarters.
They have squandered double digit leads and lost two games in which Oklahoma City registered more turnovers than assists. And they have refused to create mismatches on offense, even when struggling, by running out smaller, faster, more intimidating lineups.
That’s not the Spurs we know. The Spurs we know would adjust and adapt on the fly, taking advantage of the many leads that they’ve held. And while there’s nothing they can do about Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook swishing contested shot after contested shot after contested shot, there’s plenty they can do about themselves.
Head coach Gregg Popovich will tweak the Spurs’ rotation and play style for Game 6. Bank on it. The players will play smarter and faster. They will rebound better. They will move the ball more. And we know this because the Spurs, despite what’s happened this series, despite the fast devolution of Tim Duncan, are still the Spurs at heart.
It would be logistically irresponsible, then, to bet on the Thunder closing out this series on Thursday night, with a third consecutive win over a team that didn’t lose three consecutive games all season.
The Pick: Spurs (-1.5)
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