NBA Playoffs 2014 - Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Preview

No team has ever had to endure the amount of emotion and drama that the Los Angeles Clippers had to endure in their 7 game series win over the Golden State Warriors. The well documented saga between the team and their owner left the players seriously considering boycotting the remainder of the series. Instead the owner was banned from the NBA and the team was able to squeak by a young Warriors team to advance to the semi-finals. The Thunder were in for quite a battle in their first round matchup against the Grizzlies. Superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were off their game for most of the series and if not for a heroic performance from Reggie Jackson and a punch thrown by Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (that resulted in him being suspended for game 7) the Thunder would likely not have advanced to the second round.


Point Guard- Russell Westbrook vs. Chris Paul The erratic Westbrook had strong rebound and assist numbers throughout the opening round, however he shot the ball far too often and for a a low percentage. While he is always going to shoot more than most point guards he is going to have to find a way to shoot a higher percentage and get his teammates more involved. Paul had the weight of the world on his shoulders as he was not only the point guard for the team who's owner made the racial remarks but he is also the president of the players association. He managed to play his all around game at a high level despite all of the off the court distractions. This is a matchup of the games best scoring point guard and its best all around point guard. Advantage- Clippers

Shooting Guard- Thabo Sefolosha vs. J.J Redick

Redick is an elite outside shooter who has to play well early in games if he wants to remain on the court because Jamal Crawford comes off the bench and plays the same position. Redick can be very useful in spreading the court. Sefolosha is a strong perimeter defender with an improved outside shot. He has to make his shot in order to stay on the floor Advantage - Clippers

Small Forward - Kevin Durant vs. Matt Barnes Durant will be announced as the league MVP in the coming days and is coming off a disappointing series for him. He will likely come out aggressive and look to take the series over. Barnes is a fantastic defender and will likely be assigned to Durant whenever he is on the floor. Advantage- Thunder

Power Forward- Blake Griffin vs. Serge Ibaka Griffin has emerged as one of the elite players in the NBA. He has an all around game now with an improved outside shot to go along with his incredible athleticism. Ibaka may not be among the games elite however the rest of the description of Griffin also accurately describes him. He is also a tremendous defensive player and will provide Blake with all he can handle Advantage - Clippers

Center - DeAndre Jordan vs. Kendrick Perkins This has been a career year for Jordan as he has entered the conversation amongst the games best centers. He is a prolific shot blocker and rebounder. Perkins will have a hard time matching up with Jordan. He has improved footwork and will need to keep Jordan off the glass. Advantage - Clippers

Bench- The Clippers have undoubtedly the best bench in the NBA with Darren Collision, Crawford, Danny Granger, Jared Dudley, Hedo Turkoglu, and Glen Davis providing Coach Doc Rivers with a variety of options. Jackson has been big for the Thunder while young center Steven Adams may play a lot to offset Jordan.

The Thunder have two superstars and so do the Clippers, after that the rest of the match ups heavily favor Los Angeles. This should be an entertaining and high scoring series.

Series Prediction Clippers in 7 Game 1 Pick Take The Clippers + 5.5

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