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NBA Betting Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies- May 1st, 2014

The Oklahoma City Thunder are the number two seed in the brutal Western Conference, but we’ve officially seen exactly how good this conference is, as the 7th seeded Memphis Grizzlies have a 3-2 series lead against them. The Thunder are on the brink, and they going on the road in order to try to avoid getting knocked out of these playoffs in the first round. The Grizzlies defense has been absolutely insane against players like Kevin Durant, so they are absolutely going to need their role players to step up. These two teams should have a great game tonight, and one that you won’t want to miss.

The Thunder are led by none other than Durant, and while he’s definitely one of the top MVP candidates, he’s going to need to be all-in tonight, no matter what type of defense is on him. Tony Allen has done a great job guarding him, so Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are going to need to step up for Oklahoma City. The Thunder had 59 wins this season, and averaged a ridiculous 106.2 points per game, but none of that has been enough for them in this series.

The Grizzlies are basically the exact opposite of the Thunder, as they allow just 94.6 points per game, and score only 96.1. It hasn’t mattered though, their defense has been insanely good. They have just been playing out of this world during this series, but if they don’t stay focused and grab the win tonight then they are going to have to go back to Oklahoma City and try to win this series on the road, which won’t be easy on the home court of the Thunder.

Offense vs. Defense

This should be the topic of each and every game of this series. The Thunder are an explosive, strong offensive time, while the Grizzlies are a hard-nosed defensive team who look to shut down teams, instead of outscoring team. It’s crazy to watch these games, but with the Grizzlies in front of their home fans tonight, we should expect some major intensity.

Consensus

The Thunder are small favorites of around -2 to -2.5 depending on the sportsbook you’re using, as their backs are against the wall. They lose this game, and questions start swirling all over about the future of the Thunder and their roster. I think that the Thunder do push this to seven games, although I’m not positive yet what happens in Game 7. I’ll take the Thunder here -2.5.

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