Western Conference Finals
Golden State -7, Total: 219.5
The Warriors will be looking to keep their season alive with a home victory over the Thunder in Game 5 on Thursday.
Golden State has been embarrassed in this series, as the team lost its two games in Oklahoma City by a total of 52 points. The Warriors have allowed Oklahoma City to just completely dominate on both ends of the floor, but one area where they must improve is on the glass. Oklahoma City has outrebounded Golden State by 33 over the past two contests and the Warriors are not giving themselves a chance to win with that type of poor effort. They are, however, 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS when hosting the Thunder over the past three seasons.
One trend that favors Oklahoma City is the fact that Golden State is a miserable 11-28 ATS in home games after trailing its past two games by 10 or more points at the half since 1996. The Warriors are 26-11 ATS when revenging a loss versus an opponent over the past two seasons and 29-15 ATS after one or more consecutive UNDERS this season.
Both teams will be healthy coming into this one, so injuries should not factor into the final score.
The Thunder have been playing some lights out basketball recently and SF Kevin Durant (27.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.3 APG in playoffs) has taken his game to another level for Oklahoma City. Durant has always been a phenomenal player offensively, but he has emerged as a two-way force in these playoffs. He has blocked three shots in each of the past two games for the Thunder and he also had four steals in Game 4. If he can continue to impact the game on both ends of the floor then Oklahoma City should be able to finish off Golden State.
PG Russell Westbrook (26.0 PPG, 11.1 APG, 6.7 RPG, 2.3 SPG in playoffs) has also been unbelievable for Oklahoma City. He has really come out with some fire, as he wants to prove to the world that he is the better point guard than Stephen Curry. It’s hard to argue otherwise at the moment, as Westbrook is averaging 33.0 PPG and 11.5 APG over the past two contests and has played lockdown defense on Curry all series. He’ll need to keep up the intensity moving forward.
The Warriors looked like the best team ever to play during the regular season, but they have not shown up against the Thunder in this series. Two guys that absolutely must step it up in Game 5 are PG Stephen Curry (24.5 PPG, 5.5 APG, 1.6 SPG in playoffs) and PF Draymond Green (15.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 6.1 APG, 2.0 BPG, 1.6 SPG in playoffs).
Curry was the first unanimous MVP in league history this season, but he has been badly outplayed by Russell Westbrook in this series. Curry hit rock bottom in Game 4, finishing with just 19 points on 6-for-20 shooting from the floor and 2-for-10 shooting from three. He is one of the best shooters in the world and he’ll need to start acting like it on Thursday, as his team is one loss away from elimination.
Green, meanwhile, was an All-Star this year and is averaging just 6.0 PPG over the past two contests. He has been getting torched on both ends of the floor and needs to simplify things on Thursday. If he does not show up then Golden State’s remarkable season will have all been a waste.