Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma City Thunder’

Grizzlies vs. Thunder NBA Playoffs Predictions & Series Picks

May 15th, 2013 by Jason Richards | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on Grizzlies vs. Thunder NBA Playoffs Predictions & Series Picks
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Thunder vs. GrizzliesThe Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies will be playing in what should be a tight series in the Western Conference Semifinals. Join us here at Bankroll Sports, as we look at the Grizzlies vs. Thunder series schedule, as well as many our series predictions for what should be one of the top series to pay attention to in the second round of the playoffs.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Playoff Schedule

Grizzlies Win Series 4-1

Game 1: Memphis Grizzlies 91 – Oklahoma City Thunder 93
Game 2: Memphis Grizzlies 99 – Oklahoma City Thunder 93
Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder 81 – Memphis Grizzlies 87
Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder 97 – Memphis Grizzlies 103 (OT)
Game 5: Memphis Grizzlies 88 – Oklahoma City Thunder 84

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Odds at
Wager Web Sportsbook

Memphis Grizzlies -765
Oklahoma City Thunder +515
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Grizzlies vs. Thunder Series Updates
Game 1: The Grizzlies had every chance in the world to get the first game of this series, but it was F Kevin Durant that managed to take over and win the game in the fourth quarter. Memphis blew a 10-point lead in the second half, and that isn’t going to cut it in this series. Durant scored 35 points with 15 boards and six assists, and though the rest of the team only had seven assists in total, getting 25 points from G Kevin Martin really helped. Both F Zach Randolph and C Marc Gasol had double-doubles for the Grizz, but it wasn’t enough in the end. G Quincy Pondexter missed the first of three free throws that would have sent the game to overtime, and he was forced to miss the third foul shot to try to tie the game, but Memphis wasn’t able to get another shot off. Thunder 93 – Grizzlies 91 (Thunder Lead Series 1-0)

Game 2: For the second straight game, the Thunder and the Grizzlies came right down to the wire, and the end result was a very close game that could have gone either way. This time around though, it was G Mike Conley Jr. who came through in a huge way, scoring 26 points with 10 boards and nine assists to lead the way for the Grizz. Memphis continues to have its way on the glass, winning that battle 43-35 on the day, including going +8 on the offensive boards. Oklahoma City turned the ball over 21 times in the game as well, and that really erased the fact that F Kevin Durant scored 36 points with 11 rebounds and nine dimes. Grizzlies 99 – Thunder 93 (Series Tied 1-1)

Game 3: Though the Thunder ultimately lost by six points and didn’t cover the NBA odds in this one, they really were unlucky to not win this game. Oklahoma City didn’t score a single point in the final two and a half minutes of the game, and F Kevin Durant went the final three and a half minutes with a score. Durant once again got his points with 25, and he led the team in rebounds (11) and assists (5). However, the rest of the team had a total of just five assists, and as we have said all postseason long since G Russell Westbrook got hurt, that isn’t going to cut it. There weren’t any truly flashy stats for the Grizz in this one, as their leader was C Marc Gasol with 20 points and nine rebounds. However, in the end, the shots were falling for Memphis, and they weren’t for Oklahoma City. It was a great defensive game that could have easily gone either way. Grizzlies 87 – Thunder 81 (Grizzlies Lead Series 2-1)

Game 4: This is most certainly the one that the Thunder let get away. They were up 17 points in the second quarter of Game 4 on the road, and those are the types of games that you just can’t let slip in a best-of-seven series when you have already let home court advantage get out of your hands. The Thunder just couldn’t buy a shot in the second half and in overtime, and they scored jsut a total of 41 points in the final 29 minutes of the game. F Kevin Durant had 27 points, seven assists, and seven boards, and the difference in this one is that the team actually helped him out a bit. Four others scored in double figures, and G Reggie Jackson even had eight assists to go with his 15 points. Still, it was the power of the “big three” for the Grizzlies that got the job done. C Marc Gasol and F Zach Randolph both scored 23 points and had double-doubles, while G Mike Conley Jr. scored 24 to lead the way for Memphis. Now, the Grizzlies are a win away from the Western Conference Finals. Grizzlies 103 – Thunder 97 (OT) (Grizzlies Lead Series 3-1)

Game 5: For the first time in the playoffs, F Kevin Durant had a bad game, and the end result was his team’s elimination from the playoffs. Sure, Durant scored 21 points, but he only shot 5-of-21 from the field, and he didn’t make a three-point basket all game long. Oklahoma City shot just 36.9 percent from the field, and it ended up committing 25 fouls over the course of the game as well. Meanwhile, it was more of the same for the Grizz. F Zach Randolph had 28 points and 14 boards, while G Mike Conley Jr., in spite of his bad shooting night, still had 13 points, 11 assists, and seven boards. Memphis is off to its first conference finals in team history, and for the second time in these playoffs, it has a four-game winning streak. Grizzlies 88 – Thunder 84 (Grizzlies Win Series 4-1)

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2013 Grizzlies vs. Thunder Series Preview

Had you told an NBA expert handicapper two weeks ago that the Thunder would be underdogs in the Western Conference Semifinals, they would have told you that you were insane. After all, Oklahoma City was up 3-0 against the Houston Rockets and looked poised to move onto this round with ease. However, what we found out over the course of these last few games is that the team isn’t ready to win a title without G Russell Westbrook in the fold.

Westbrook is now out for the rest of the playoffs after going through some knee surgery just before Game 3 against the Rockets. Perhaps Houston was a better team than we all gave it credit for, but the truth of the matter is that F Kevin Durant isn’t a point guard. He is trying to do the job, as he led the team in assists in the first round, averaging 7.0 per game. Of course, he was also second on the team in rebounding at 7.8 boards per game and easily the leading scorer at 32.5 points per game as well. The question is going to be whether G Reggie Jackson can make up for what Westbrook is no longer bringing to the table. We do give credit to Jackson for averaging 14.0 points per game in the opening round and shooting 46.2 percent from the field, but he hasn’t been a key ball distributor, and that’s what the team really needs at the moment.

Memphis is actually the slight favorite for the time being, and many think that it might not just win this series, but win it with ease. The club actually won the final four games of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the favored Los Angeles Clippers, though we do have to recognize the fact that three of those four games were at home at the FedEx Forum. The Grizz play suffocating defense, and they held the Clips down to just 91.0 points per game in the last five games of the series. It was the offense that shined that was a bit shocking. Memphis only scored triple digits in one of its 13 games prior to Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs. In the last three games though, the team scored 104, 103, and 118 points. F Zach Randolph, G Mike Conley, and C Marc Gasol all averaged at least 17.3 points per game for the team this year, and if that’s the way that these three are going to play for the whole postseason, the Grizzlies might be legitimate contenders to win the whole enchilada.

Recent history is on the side of the Grizzlies. They have won three of the last four meetings, though they only went 2-2 ATS in those games. The one failure came in March when they won 90-89 in overtime as a 1 ½-point favorite. Remember that all of those games came with both Durant and Westbrook in the fold. We might be overreacting to what we saw in that series against Houston, but the argument could have been made that the Thunder should have been beaten 4-1 in that first round series. We think that will be approximately the final score of this series as well. We want the Grizzlies on our side, even as the short favorites against a team that won 60 games in the regular season.

Grizzlies vs. Thunder Series Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies in 5

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2013 Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Predictions

May 2nd, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on 2013 Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Predictions
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The 2013 NBA playoffs are set to begin, and today at Bankroll Sports, we are going to be keeping a close eye on the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. These two should be going at it in a great set of battles, and we are going to have our NBA playoffs predictions and scores update on a nightly basis for this and all of the great series throughout the playoffs. Check back to this page often, as we will be updating our final scores and our series analysis so you can make the most informed NBA picks every step of the way in this series.

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Playoff Schedule

Thunder Win Series 4-2

Game 1: Houston Rockets 91 – Oklahoma City Thunder 120
Game 2: Houston Rockets 102 – Oklahoma City Thunder 105
Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder 104 – Houston Rockets 101
Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder 103 – Houston Rockets 105
Game 5: Houston Rockets 107 – Oklahoma City Thunder 100
Game 6: Oklahoma City Thunder 103 – Houston Rockets 94

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Series Odds at
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Houston Rockets +525
Oklahoma City Thunder -750
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Rockets vs. Thunder Series Update
Game 1: The Thunder are literally off and running. They knocked down 10 three-point shots and 44 shots from the field for the game, and they were able to drop a whopping 120 points on the Rockets in Game 1 of this series. It was a tremendously well-balanced attack for sure. There were eight players that scored at least eight points in the game, and it was a huge effort in spite of the fact that G Russell Westbrook and F Kevin Durant only combined to score 43 points. Thunder 120 – Rockets 91 (Thunder Lead Series 1-0)

Game 2: The Rockets had their chance to steal a game in this series, but they just weren’t able to finish the job in the second half in Oklahoma city. G James Harden went to the line a whopping 20 times for the game and ended up scoring 36 points with 11 boards and six assists against his former team. Houston was down 15 in the fourth quarter, but it rallied to nearly pull off the huge upset. Rookie G Patrick Beverly scored 16 points with 12 boards with six assists, but it was G Russell Westbrook and F Kevin Durant that led the way, scoring 29 points apiece. As we found out later though, Westbrook suffered a knee injury and is going to miss the rest of this series for sure. Thunder 105 – Rockets 102 (Thunder Lead Series 2-0)

Game 3: The poor Rockets have to have had the stuffing knocked out of them at this point. They completely erased a 26-point deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter, and they seemed poised to go on and win the game. However, a few thunderous dunks and a miracle of a three-point basket by F Kevin Durant ultimately gave the game to the Thunder by a triple. Houston had a shot to tie at the end, but the final shot clanked off of the rim, giving OKC a 3-0 series lead. G James Harden scored 30 points, but G Jeremy Lin clearly was hurting with a chest problem that caused him to miss basically the entire second half. Durant scored 41 and pulled down 14 boards in his first game playing without G Russell Westbrook in these playoffs. Oklahoma City looked mortal in the second half, shooting just 38 percent from the field and scoring a total of just 38 points. Still, a 66-point first half burst was enough to seal the ‘W’. Thunder 104 – Rockets 101 (Thunder Lead Series 3-0)

Game 4: We learned a lot about the Rockets and the Thunder in this game. Houston wasn’t really able to get all that much out of G James Harden in this game. Harden visibly looked hurt, and he turned the ball over 10 times and made just four field goals for the game. However, the rest of the team rallied around him, shooting 51.2 percent as a team without their star, including getting 27 huge points from F Chandler Parsons to lead the way. What did we learn about Oklahoma City? The team is in a heck of a lot of trouble. The Thunder are clearly going to need someone aside from F Kevin Durant to step it up. When Durant is hot and he is getting to the basket, OKC is fine. However, the team just can’t rely on KD scoring 40 points every night to carry the load. Someone else is going to have to maintain the basketball to get some open looks for some other guys, and that just isn’t happening right now. G Reggie Jackson did what he could, scoring 18 points, but he only had three assists, and that isn’t going to cut it. Durant scored 38 and was dominating, but he couldn’t win this game all by himself in spite of the fact that he shot 12-of-16 from the field and 13-of-15 from the foul line. Rockets 105 – Thunder 103 (Thunder Lead Series 3-1)

Game 5: More of the same for the Thunder in this series, and they have to become scared that the very real possibility is there that not only could this become a disaster of a first round defeat, but there is a reasonable chance that the Rockets could become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to ultimately claim the series. Once again, six players were in double figures for the Rockets, but this time around, G James Harden played like a monster. Everything he was shooting was hitting the bottom of the net, and he ultimately came up with seven threes and 31 total points. G Reggie Jackson scored 20 for the Thunder, but G Kevin Martin only shot 1-of-10 from the field and really killed the effort. F Kevin Durant scored 36, had seven boards, and seven helpers, but again, the offense just didn’t look right with him essentially playing the point guard spot. Oklahoma City has some real problems right now going back to the Lone Star State for Game 6. Rockets 107 – Thunder 100 (Thunder Lead Series 3-2)

Game 6: It wasn’t a thing of beauty for the Thunder, but they were able to finally get some help from the full team, and that’s why they were able to finally pull away from the Rockets down the stretch to close out this series after losing Games 4 and 5. F Kevin Durant scored his 27 points, but it was G Reggie Jackson with 17 points, eight assists, and seven boards and G Kevin Martin that scored 25 points that really made the difference. The three major players off of the Oklahoma City bench went +25, +32, and +20 respectively, and that’s why Oklahoma City has survived. Thunder 103 – Rockets 94 (Thunder Win Series 4-2)

2013 Rockets vs. Thunder Series Preview

There is going to be plenty of bad blood that might get spilled over onto the courts at Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Toyota Center over the course of the next two weeks, as there are a number of players on both sides of the court that have experience with the other team. This is going to be a heck of a series that should feature a ton of scoring.

Houston really has nothing to lose at this point, knowing that it is the severe underdog in this series. Any game that happens to be won would be a huge accomplishment for a team that was lucky just to get into the second season this year. G James Harden is the man that is going to be the focal point for this offense, as he averaged 25.9 points per game this season. Of course, Harden came over in the huge blockbuster deal prior to the start of the season from this Oklahoma City outfit. The Rockets also added both C Omer Asik and G Jeremy Lin in the offseason, and both have become solid contributors. F Chandler Parsons had a bust out season, averaging 15.5 points per game as well. However, the real issue with Houston is that it just cannot play any defense. The team is willing to run up and down the floor, and there is no doubt that it can score at will, averaging 106.0 points per game, but on the other side of the court, the Rockets are conceding 102.5 points per game, and that most certainly isn’t going to cut it when push comes to shove against a team like this one.

Oklahoma City knows that it has a target on its back at this point, and it is going to need to play at its very best to win this series and eventually get back to the NBA Finals. The team revolves around G Russell Westbrook and F Kevin Durant, who are combining to put up over 50 points per game between them. Durant came just short of the scoring title this year, but that’s no worry to him. He just wants to get that elusive first ring. The real issue is the bench. Last year, we knew that Harden was going to come into the game at some point in the middle of the first quarter and really spark the offense. Now, G Kevin Martin has that role, and though he did average 14.0 points per game this season, he clearly isn’t as good as Harden was. Men like C Kendrick Perkins and F Serge Ibaka add to the defensive prowess of this team, and this is the one aspect where Oklahoma City was much improved. The team allowed just 96.5 points per game this year, which is lethal considering the fact that the team is putting up 105.7 points per game.

The Thunder won 60 games this season, and they went 50-8 SU and 43-15 ATS in games this year in which they scored 100+ points. They’re going to score at least 100 in each of the games of this series for sure, and that is going to be the deathblow to the Rockets. Oklahoma City went 2-1 SU and ATS in the regular season, and it scored at least 119 in all three of these games. Perhaps Houston ekes out one, but this series isn’t going more than five games.

Thunder vs. Rockets Series Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder in 5

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NBA Betting Trends: #3 Dallas Mavericks vs. #4 Oklahoma City Thunder

May 16th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on NBA Betting Trends: #3 Dallas Mavericks vs. #4 Oklahoma City Thunder
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The Western Conference Finals really didn’t set up the way that most expert NBA handicappers envisioned this year, but there are still definitely two fantastic teams in the fold. The upstart Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks would both make great feel good stories to beat the NBA Finals odds, but only one can actually get the job done and make it to the big show. Check out our NBA odds and Thunder vs. Mavericks predictions for the big time series starting on Tuesday!

NBA Series Prices
Dallas -230 vs. Oklahoma City +190 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Dallas -230 vs. Oklahoma City +190 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Dallas -240 vs. Oklahoma City +190 @ Bet Online Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
The regular season this year has been one for the dogs, and one for the roadies, and there is no doubt whatsoever that this series could largely end up being the same, exact way. The Thunder won the one game here in Big D, a 99-95 decision in January, but in comes with a huge asterisk, as Dirk Nowitzki didn’t play in that one. The Thunder, with Dirk in the fold, won both contests in the Sooner State, 111-103 in November and 103-93 in December just after Christmas.

In fact, if you’re talking about a series for the dogs, this is the one for you. The underdog is 9-3-1 ATS over the course of the last 13 meetings. Of course, Oklahoma City is also 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings, though the two stats aren’t identical to one another. The Thunder have indeed been favorites at times in this series, most notably this past season in the trip to Big D without Dirk in the fold.

The Mavericks have gone 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall, and they are coming off of arguably the biggest series in the history of the team, a four game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, the two time defending NBA champs. It is 8-0 ATS in its last eight home games dating back into the regular season, and in games in which Dirk has played at least 16 minutes, the team is 62-19 SU and 50-28-3 ATS, numbers which definitely aren’t ones to frown about.

The Thunder have reached the big time stage in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since they were known as the Seattle SuperSonics (which also surpassed the day in which they were just known as the Seattle Sonics). Behind the oomph of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, they have done everything that they have needed to do to keep on keeping on in the playoffs, though it hasn’t always been the prettiest. The Thunder have covered 10 of their last 15 games on the road, and they are sure to be a thorn in Dallas’ side in this series.

Keys to the Series
Key 1: Pace – If you had talked to many NBA betting pundits at the start of the postseason, you would have thought that the Thunder would have needed to really play at a frantic pace to still be alive in the playoffs. They haven’t quite done that this year though, as they are slowing things down and really trying to capitalize on their new found bulk on the inside in trade deadline acquisitions, Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed. Dallas, on the other hand, has transformed itself from an offensive, shoot ’em out team to one that is willing to take its time to run defensive sets and pressure ‘D’. The Mavericks have played devastating defense in this postseason, keeping the high flying Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers down to right around 88 points per game.

Key 2: Pretend Like You’ve Been There – The aforementioned Perkins might only be 26 years old, but he has a bevy of playoff experience that he has brought from his days with the Boston Celtics here to the Sooner State. Sure, his stats haven’t been great (in fact, they’re too embarrassing to even talk about), but we know that he has meant more to this team both on and off the court to measure. Perkins warned his OKC teammates that they hadn’t accomplished anything yet by going up 3-2 in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Grizz. The team came out and got blown away in the second half in Game 6 in Memphis. Now, it’s time for the big time against a big, bad Dallas team that is a heck of a lot more talented than the one on the other side of the court from this past series. If the Thunder seem content with their work, they will be dismissed from the playoffs in relatively easy fashion. They need to play like veterans in spite of the fact that they are all young and most have never been on this stage to succeed.

Key 3: Dirk Must Destroy Bad History in Big D – It’s been pretty well documented just how badly Dirk and the Mavs have struggled in the playoffs in their history. They’ve never won the NBA title. They’ve only been to the Finals once, and in that season, they choked away a 2-0 series lead to the Miami Heat in the finale. Nowitzki says that this team is better than the one that was on the court in ’06 that won it all, but regardless of that fact, there is still a heck of a lot of skepticism in Dallas. Few really believe that this really is the year that things change, especially after so many failed attempts with high hopes as well. Still, owner Mark Cuban and company would love nothing more than to finally give Dirk his ring, and the NBA betting public out there would love nothing more than to cash in with them on that quest as well.

NBA Playoff Betting Trends: Oklahoma City Thunder/Memphis Grizzlies

April 30th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NBA Basketball   Comments Off on NBA Playoff Betting Trends: Oklahoma City Thunder/Memphis Grizzlies
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Two teams that weren’t in the best on shape on the NBA Finals odds just a week ago are both smiling and sitting pretty right now. The Oklahoma City Thunder have to love this matchup against a bunch of Memphis Grizzlies that just have to be happy to still be alive after becoming the fourth No. 8 seed to ever upset a No. 1 in the first round of the playoffs.

NBA Series Prices
Oklahoma City -350 vs. Memphis +270 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Oklahoma City -360 vs. Memphis +300 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Oklahoma City OTB vs. Memphis OTB @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
The Thunder have to be a bit scared over how poorly they actually played in this season series. All of the meetings came from the beginning of January through the beginning of March, which at least should let OKC’s NBA betting fans relax just a bit knowing that Kendrick Perkins wasn’t in the fold for any of the games. Still, the Grizzlies came here to the Ford Center back in February and posted a 105-101 win in overtime as 7.5 point underdogs, and they went 3-1 SU and ATS in the season series.

The bad news for Memphis bettors though, is that this is the only time since 2008 that the Grizzlies have either won or covered a game in the Sooner State, something that doesn’t bode well for the rest of this series.

Keys to the Series
Key 1: Containing Durant – There are no two ways around this fact: Kevin Durant is really, really, really good. Amongst players that are still left standing — and there are a heck of a lot of good ones out there — none are averaging more points per game in the second season than the 32.4 that the former Texas Longhorn is putting on the board. Of course, this did come against a Denver Nuggets team that really was never all that great defensively, but that’s still a huge number that cannot be ignored. There really aren’t great defensive matchups for Durant in this series either for Memphis, which means that the key to slowing Durant might be forcing him into bad situations and matchups defensively.

Key 2: Heart and Hustle – Ah yes, the old slogan of the Orlando Magic from back in the day… The Grizzlies have sort of adopted that right now, as they don’t have the talent to match up with some of the best teams in the Western Conference even with Rudy Gay in the fold, let alone when he’s out nursing an injury. Memphis was able to beat the San Antonio Spurs by taking control of the hustle stats in the game and simply outworking them. That’s what it will need to do again in this series. The problem though, is that the Thunder have a team that is much more suited to play well in this situation. Oklahoma City certainly got a lot tougher with Perkins and Nazr Mohammad on the court, and that could make all the difference, not just in this series, but in the rest of the playoffs as well.

Key 3: Believing – Neither one of these teams has ever been to this point, and there really isn’t a heck of a lot of playoff experience on either side. The team that might beat the NBA series odds could be the one that believes that it deserves to be in the Western Conference Finals and believes that it will beat either the Dallas Mavericks or the Los Angeles Lakers. We don’t really know what the Grizzlies have in this department after beating the Spurs last round, but we know that Durant and Russell Westbrook are never short on confidence.