I like the Clippers to keep it close tonight at OKC, and in fact, put real pressure on the Thunder to keep home court advantage for more than 48 minutes in this series. I don’t care for the Thunder at a strategic level, because I don’t think they truly know who they are, or whose team it is, and I don’t like this match-up at a tactical level. I’d take the Clippers front court over OKC’s, and the Clippers backcourt over OKC’s, and while everyone loves Durant, herein lies my problem with him, and why I just chose the Clippers backcourt over OKC’s with Westbrook: Durant doesn’t play like he’s the second best player in the world, or the MVP of the NBA. Russell Westbrook does play with that attitude and chip on his shoulder, that competitive fire to win, but I think that creates more problems than it solves for the Thunder–especially as they go deeper in the playoffs. I want my teams to resemble the championship teams of the Bulls, Spurs, Celtics, Lakers and even the ’11 Mavericks and the last two seasons of the Miami Heat: everybody knows and plays their role!
To hear the second best player in the world say “I’m a decoy out there sometimes” tells me this team isn’t his, it’s the wildly inefficient, if marvelously talented and extremely fun to watch, Westbrook’s team. Sure KD might have the endorsements and be the more likeable and recognizable player, but between those lines, who is bringing the competitive fire, and who is carrying this team? Is it the guy who’s always going 9-21? Sure sounds like it if you listen to KD. Not a blueprint for championships.
Memphis should’ve ousted OKC if not for being down half their team in game 7. Take the points and the over tonight, take the Clippers for the series.
LA CLIPPERS are 15-3 ATS (+11.7 Units) revenging a straight up loss vs opponent as a favorite this season.
The average score was LA CLIPPERS 112.9, OPPONENT 100.1
LA CLIPPERS are 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season.
The average score was LA CLIPPERS 111.0, OPPONENT 103.3
Both the Clippers and Thunder are 5-2 OVER in the playoffs, and both teams likely to have a little less intensity on the defensive end, and see a little higher tempo out of OKC after seven game series and the pressure of Saturday’s first round tilts.