Clippers vs Thunder Game 5 Pick

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Game 5

Tuesday 9:30 EST

May 13, 2014

Line: Oklahoma City -5 (Subject to change. Check up-to-date odds at Bovada)

Through three quarters of Game 4, Kevin Durant did what an MVP was supposed to do.

KD scored 30 points, and Oklahoma City had a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter. Having put his team in a position to win, the Thunder were 12 minutes away from heading back home with a chance to close out the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

So with 9:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Clippers win probability (based on historical data) was 0.9%. In a time of desperation, Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers made a coaching adjustment that makes you wonder if size really does matter – one that changed the course of the series. Opting to go “ultra-small” against the size of the Thunder, with Darren Collison, Blake Griffin, Danny Granger, Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul, the Clippers weren’t ready to let their season end. While Paul’s 23 points and 10 assists were essential in the win, it was his defense against one of the NBA’s top stars, the league MVP, that allowed the Clippers to overcome a 22-point deficit. Durant may have finished the game with 40-points, but his 10 fourth quarter points weren’t enough to prevent one of the most improbable comebacks in NBA playoff history.

Throughout these NBA playoffs, no team has had to overcome more adversity than the Clippers. You know about their owner. We now know about his wife not willing to give up her share of the team without a fight. But through it all, the Clippers are the team that never gives up. They survived a Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. They survived an owner’s remarks that instead of dividing a franchise, united them closer than ever before. And now, they willed their way to a monumental victory, after a Reggie Jackson jumper with 9:18 remaining gave Oklahoma City an 82-66 lead.

Now tied at two games apiece, although a welcome return home for the Thunder awaits, the Clippers are the ones with the momentum. The Thunder’s defense held the Clippers to a 3-of-21 performance from beyond the arc, and was the better team for the most of the afternoon, but it was the Clippers who proved anything is possible. They have overcome adversity all playoffs. Game 4 was no different.

In order to advance, the Clippers are going to have to win at least one of the remaining three games on the road. If Game 4 proved anything, it’s that this series now has become the Clippers to lose. And I just don’t see that happening for the rest of this round.

My Pick: Clippers +5

May 13, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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