The 2012 NBA playoffs will get their third round underway on Sunday in the Lone Star State, where the much anticipated series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs will get underway. Don’t miss our 2012 Western Conference Finals series NBA betting preview!
Bookmaker Sportsbook currently has the Spurs listed as the -210 favorites to move on to the NBA Finals, and it is hard to argue with that point. We know that the Thunder were one of the best teams in the NBA all season long, but it is hard to dispute the run that San Antonio went on at the end of the year. The team closed out the season by winning its final 10 games to lock up the No. 1 seed in the West, and now, it is 18-0 SU and 15-2-1 ATS in its last 18 games including the postseason.
The Spurs really haven’t broken a sweat in the playoffs yet either. They have gotten their star-like performances from Tony Parker and Tim Duncan for sure. Parker is averaging 19.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 3.4 boards per game, while Duncan is good for 17.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. For the rest of the club though, no one has averaged more than 11.2 points per game or 26 minutes per game. That being said, there are seven other contributors that are good for at least 5.6 points per game, and it is that depth that is really causing all sorts of problems for other teams.
And then there are the Thunder, who have been looked at for the last few years as the up and coming team in the league. They took their first major stride two years ago when they took the Los Angeles Lakers to six games in the first round of the playoffs, and they took a second big time step last year when they made it to the Western Conference Finals before being taken out by the Dallas Mavericks.
This year though, matters have been a lot different for Oklahoma City in the playoffs. There have been no gifts in terms of what teams the Thunder have had to face. They took care of the Mavs, the defending NBA champs in a sweep, and then the finished off the Lakers in five games. Oklahoma City has had its share of blowouts. However, it has also figured out how to win the close games as well.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden are going to do the mass majority of the scoring in this series for sure, as the three combined to average nearly 70 points per game between them in the first nine games here in the playoffs. Durant is averaging almost 41 minutes per game as well, and he rarely takes a seat on the bench. The Thunder though, are getting great contributions from the likes of Serge Ibaka, Derek Fisher, and Kendrick Perkins, all of which are doing just enough on both sides of the court to keep this team rolling.
The Spurs and Thunder have never met before in the playoffs (since Oklahoma City moved from Seattle). This year in the regular season, there were three clashes. Oklahoma City took the first, 108-96 at home in January, but the Spurs won 107-96 at the AT&T Center in February and 114-105 in the Sooner State in March.
Game 1 of this best-of-seven series starts on Sunday, May 27th, and the series will be played every other day, with a possible Game 7 taking place on Friday, June 8th.
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