NBA basketball is back in action after a fun All-Star break. On the first day of the NBA season’s second half, there are two pretty interesting Western Conference games you can bet on:
DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. OKLAHOMA CITY
Dallas is ahead in the standings, but both teams went into the All-star break on a winning note. The Thunder’s beat the Memphis Grizzlies and the Mavs beat the Utah Jazz. Both teams are also 6-4 in their last 10 and seem to be picking up momentum. OK City are making the run up to the playoffs a lot more interesting, now only half a game behind the Phoenix Suns for the conference’s eighth spot. If they beat the Mavs they will jump into a playoff position which is key to lock in at this crucial point of the season.
Despite the Thunder’s record, the probability that they’re going to be one difficult team to face is very high. Kevin Durant is posting up MVP numbers on any given night. On his shoulders, the Thunder have improved to 28-25 after ending their first of half schedule. The 105-89 win over the Memphis Grizzlies was their third win in as many games and they just seem to be heating up. Durant had a great month averaging 30.5 PPG, he’ll have a lot chances in this game to post more as the Mavericks are one of the worst teams in defending against the three. And the Thunder are at the front of the pack in league rebounding with 46.5 RPG.
Our Pick: OK City over Dallas, 98-108
SAN ANTONIO SPURS VS. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Despite the Clipper’s not having Blake Griffin in the line-up, and the Spurs in the middle of a long road trip, both teams are coming off 2 strong wins and are equally playing well. Though the All-Star break is a perfect chance to rest up, it could also ice their momentum.
The Spurs are 5-5 in their last 10 games but had a great outing when they demolished the Detroit Pistons on February 11th. They have a deep bench which has stepped up and provided the team with much needed support from their relievers, an average of 40.3 PPG. This output is a lot better than their upcoming rival’s bench. Ginobili, who stacked 13 points against the Pistons, is averaging 12.0 PPG and 4.8 APG this season.
But then factor in the recent explosive play of Clipper’s DeAndre Jordan. With Griffin out for 3 weeks with a staph infection, he stepped up his performance over the last two games. Astonishingly, he averaged star player numbers of 23.0 PPG and 23.5 RPG. In the win against the Houston Rockets last Thursday, he finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds. If he can improve his free throw shooting he can be a dangerous threat to the Spurs defense.If the L.A, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games, learn from their previous two losses against the Spurs earlier this season and take better care of the ball, limiting their turnovers, they can easily overpower a tired San Antonio team.
Our Pick: Clippers over Spurs, 95-101