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NBA Betting: Durant, Westbrook Will Need To Use Offense To Force Issue In Game Two

Written by OGB   
Thursday, 19 May 2011 07:19

NBA Conference Finals betting picksThe Oklahoma City Thunder withstood strong challenges by the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies through the first two rounds of the Western conference playoffs, but until now they haven’t had to face the power of an All Star performer like Dallas Mavericks’ forward Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki looked unstoppable dropping 48 NBA odds points on the Thunder in a 121-112 game one win, as Oklahoma City searched for an answer to slow him down without success. The Thunder will take in the film and regroup in anticipation of a better result in game two, but closing the sports betting gap between the two sides could come down to superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook stepping up on offense.

Durant was a monster in game one with 40 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, but his effort was overshadowed by Nowitzki’s incredible 48-point night. The All Star forward shot over 50-percent and missed just one of his 19 free throw attempts, but it didn’t compare to what the Mavericks threw at them. Nowitzki didn’t miss a single free throw setting a playoff-record by nailing each of his 24 attempts, while Jason Terry and JJ Barea combined for 45 points off of the bench.

The Thunder had no sports betting bonus answer for either Nowitzki or Dallas’ depth, and that has something that will need to change for game two.

One of the key difference-makers will have to be Westrbook, who hit just three of his 15 shots from the field while struggling to create offense with just three assists. The Oklahoma City guard failed to get to the lane with the same success he has had in past series’, and as long as the Mavericks continue to keep him to the outside he will have to do a better job of creating off of the dribble and finding the opening shot. Westbrook isn’t he only Thunder player that will need to step up however, with fellow starters Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha combining for just 13 points. Perkins has never been a big scorer but he will need to have a stronger presence under the rim, while Sefolosha will need to do more to make things easier on Durant and Westbrook. It really hurt Oklahoma City that their top scorer off the bench also finished with the worst plus-minus as James Harden scored 12 points but was a minus-13 for the game, and the Thunder will need a better effort from the bench to rival the Mavericks’ pay per head depth.

The biggest adjustment in a series has always been from the first game to the second, and that will continue in this year’s Western conference finals ahead of the 2011 Preakness Stakes betting race. The Thunder will be hard-pressed to match Dallas’ scoring ability up front and the depth that the team boasts, and their best chance is to turn things around with a better offensive effort. The Mavericks won’t make things easy on them, but if Durant and Westbrook can elevate their offensive game even further then Oklahoma City might be able to even the series.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:18
 
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