Warriors at Spurs Picks and NBA Game 5 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 5/14/2013
With Kevin Durant getting almost no help from his Oklahoma City teammates against the Memphis Grizzlies and top-seeded OKC looking quite vulnerable, the Western Conference really is there for the taking for the Golden State Warriors (no offense to Memphis). If they can pull the upset in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series in San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Warriors would have a chance to finish things off at home Thursday -- and they have one of the best home-court advantages in the NBA. Their success-starved fans are quite rabid. That's why I think the winner of Game 5 does indeed take this series. The Spurs are -290 on BetOnline to win the series and Golden State at +245.
Warriors at Spurs Betting Story Lines
Obviously, the Warriors' best player is Stephen Curry. He sprained his troublesome ankle in Game 3 and was a game-time decision for Game 4. The likely only way he would have sat out was if the ankle was broken. Curry played 39 minutes and finished with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists in the Warriors' 97-87 overtime win, easily the lowest-scoring game of this series. It was the Warriors' first OT postseason win since beating Detroit on April 30, 1976.
But Andrew Bogut was Golden State's most important player in Game 4. He was limited to 28 minutes, partly because of some foul troubles, and had only five points. However, he also had 18 rebounds as the Warriors grabbed a whopping 65 boards. Bogut's defense also can't be calculated, although his plus-17 rating while on the floor sure can. Actually, his defense can be calculated: The Warriors are allowing 26.8 fewer points per 100 possessions when Bogut is on the court in this series. The Spurs are shooting 40.5 percent when he’s on the court and 44.4 percent when not. Now you see why the Warriors traded Monta Ellis for him last year. Bogut is the first Warrior to have 18 or more rebounds in two playoff games since Nate Thurmond and Clyde Lee both did it in 1973.
Bogut has definitely given Tim Duncan fits. The 37-year-old future Hall of Famer was just 7-for-22 from the floor in Game 4 and was minus-23. Yeah, Duncan is averaging 21 points in the series, but needing 19.5 shots on average to do it as well as shooting only 41 percent compared to 50.2 during the regular season.
Spurs star guard Tony Parker is dealing with his own injury, a sore calf, courtesy of a Bogut kick in the fourth quarter of Game 3. He struggled to 6-for-17 shooting from the field in Game 4 and managed only one field goal in that fourth quarter after he was hurt. He expects to feel much better Tuesday. I'm still confused why the Spurs cut Stephen Jackson late in the season. He certainly would help their depth right now. And to add confusion the Spurs signed Tracy McGrady before the playoffs, and he's not playing.
Keep an eye on the Spurs from the free-throw line as that could be the decider. They made 79.1 percent of their shots from the charity stripe during the year, the best mark for the team under Gregg Popovich. But the Spurs have been under that number in three of the four games in this series, including 14-for-25 in Game 4. Maybe we will see the Warriors try hack-a-Kawhi in Game 4. Kawhi Leonard hit 82.5 percent from the line during the year but is 11-for-22 against Golden State.
Warriors at Spurs Game 4 NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, the Spurs are seven-point favorites with the total at 195. The Warriors are 9-1 ATS in these playoffs and 4-6 “over/under”. The Spurs are 5-3 ATS in the postseason and 3-5 O/U.
The Warriors are 10-1 ATS in their past 11 after an ATS win. The Spurs are 4-13 in their past 17 playing on one day of rest. The Spurs are 3-11 ATS in their past 14 after an ATS loss. San Antonio has covered only two of its past 14 against teams with a winning record. The under is 4-1 in Golden State's past five after an ATS loss. The under is 4-0 in San Antonio's past four playing on one day of rest. The under is 15-7 in San Antonio's past 22 after a loss. The Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their past five in San Antonio. The under is 5-2 in the past seven meetings there.
Warriors at Spurs Picks and Game 5 Betting Predictions
If Curry is rather gimpy again, and I'm guessing he will be, then the Warriors probably aren't going to win in San Antonio unless Harrison Barnes has another monster game. He took a career-high 26 shots in a whopping 51 minutes and finished with a team-best 26 points to go with 10 rebounds in Game 4. You can't expect a rookie to do that on the road in the NBA playoffs, though. Unless he's named Jordan or LeBron.
San Antonio might have the Warriors right where it wants them. Why? In the past 10 years, the Spurs have been in a 2-2 series 10 deadlock 10 times. They went on to win eight of those series. Although last time it happened, the 2012 West Finals, the Spurs lost. This will be the 11th time the Spurs will play a Game 5 of a tied seven-game series under Popovich. They are 7-3 in those games but have lost the past two. The Spurs should make it 8-3, but I expect a close game, so take the Warriors and the under.
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