Spurs at Thunder Game 3 Pick

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Game 3

Sunday 8:30 EST

May 25, 2014

Game 3 Line: Oklahoma City -2 (Subject to change. Check up-to-date odds at Bovada)

Already down 0-2 to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder are searching for a spark that will get them back into this series.

Despite the storm of the Spurs not only striking once, but twice in San Antonio, a return home for Kevin Durant and co. is a place to start, where the Thunder are about to face their biggest test of the season. Although it’s only Game 3, it’s certainly a Game 7 for the Thunder, as 110 teams have tried, but all have failed to comeback from a 3-0 series deficit.

A victory for OKC would undoubtedly get them back in this series. A loss would move Kevin Durant one game closer to joining the league MVPs who failed to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy, as only 13 players in NBA history were successful in accomplishing this feat.

There have been moments through the first two games of this series, where the Thunder have looked competitive. They have moved the ball well, made shots and defended well. But every time you had the sense that the Thunder were going to take the game over, the Spurs always had an answer. Granted the loss of Serge Ibaka was a major factor in this series, Scott Brooks failed to make the proper adjustments that were needed to get the Thunder a split on the road.

The truth is, even if Ibaka was on the floor in Game 2, the way Durant and Russell Westbrook performed, not even Bill Russell could’ve helped OKC. Two superstars that have been sound all playoffs buckled under pressure when their team needed a masterful performance. A league MVP is expected to carry a team on his shoulders in desperate situations. For OKC, already trailing 2-0, their situation doesn’t get more dire than this. KD might have to score 40-points to win, and if that’s the case, let’s see it happen.

The sense of urgency for OKC will be on display. But needing a split on the road to virtually secure their second consecutive Western Conference championship, the Spurs face the challenge of not letting up. There’s no doubt the disappointment of the 2012 Western Conference finals still resonates with San Antonio. If the Spurs are going to give KD and Westbrook some life, 2012 could become 2014 all over again.

The Thunder must limit their turnovers and do their best to defend the paint and the three-point line. On offense, Durant and Westbrook must take their MVP-caliber game to a whole new level. Pundits will say that without Ibaka the Thunder are destined to get sweeped. But the Thunder are a desperate team, making them extremely dangerous.

After Durant’s Game 2 performance, one may wonder why I’m picking the Thunder to win Game 3. After the next 48 minutes, you’ll see why.

My Pick: Thunder -2

May 25, 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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