Basketball gambling comes to the AT&T Center on Tuesday, January 31st when the Oklahoma City Thunder comes to visit the San Antonio Spurs. Pro basketball lines to be determined at SBG online sportsbook.
The Thunder ended a three-game winning streak with a 91-107 loss to the Cavs on Sunday. Russell Westbrook had a triple double – as he is wont to do – but his 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists turned out to be a modest production compared to what he might have posted had he not had his wings clipped by Cleveland’s defense. Not that OKC’s offense needed a lot of help in order to miss shots. The Thunder as a whole missed 18 layups, some of which the Cavs even made an effort to actually contest. Frankly, there’s been way too much emphasis over the years on putting the ball actually through the hoop. Westbrook made just 7 of 26 shots and Oklahoma missed 20 of 26 attempts from the three-point line. Additionally, Westbrook made five of eight free-throws; according to the All Star, he was “not sure” whether he should have been given more FT’s. Hey, no do-overs. It’s been widely believed that the Thunder is a one-man team, but that belief was contested on Sunday, when the absence of reserve center Enes Kanter took a toll on OKC’s offensive output. It doesn’t bode well for the Thunder’s basketball gambling chances that Kanter will be out for 6-8 weeks with a broken forearm.
The Spurs lost two in a row for the first time since November, when they lost 101-105 to the Mavs on Sunday. San Antonio is usually the favorite in the pro basketball lines, but after a four-game road trip the Spurs may have been a bit road-weary – mentally, of not physically. “Too many mental errors defensively,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. It’s like the great Yogi Berra said; 90% of the game is physical and the other half is mental. San Antonio’s players said they didn’t communicate well defensively, including Manu Ginobili. “Our defense was pretty poor; mainly, communication. We were always late,” the Argentine player said. “Too many missed communications. Somebody thought it was switch. The other one thought it was stay.” In other words, what we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, err, on Sunday. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs offense, but the problem wasn’t points scored but points allowed. San Antonio had as comfortable a lead as 15 points in the second period. “I know we got 101 points. That’s fine. But the mental mistakes defensively were really costly,” Pop said. Four Dallas players were allowed to score in double digits, including Seth Curry (24) and Harrison Barnes (19). According to the San Antonio Express News “the Spurs had no explanation for why they hit just 65.2 percent of their free throws.” It’s simple math, guys; that means you missed 34.8% of your free-throws. San Antonio will have to work on both ends of the court if they want to be basketball gambling favorites against OKC, though it doesn’t look either as if the pro basketball lines will favor the Thunder.