NBA Playoff Betting Series Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns
#7 San Antonio Spurs
(50-32, 2nd place in Southwest Division)
#3 Phoenix Suns
(54-28, 2nd place in Pacific Division)
San Antonio Spurs
How They Got Here: In spite of the fact that it wasn’t a tremendous series for any of their big stars, the Spurs still outlasted the Dallas Mavericks in a fantastic NBA playoff betting series that demonstrated heart, grit, and tenacity for the men in silver and black. San Antonio is going to need some of its talent to really step up to continue to survive, but the combination of talent and grit could lead this not-so-average #7 seed a long way in these playoffs.
Player To Watch: G Tony Parker isn’t starting anymore, but his presence off of the bench is very similar to that of what G Manu Ginobili used to have for this team. Parker shot 47.0 percent from the floor in the first series of the postseason, averaging the third highest point total per game at 15.8. He’s a little sparkplug on the court and is a great change of pace from starting G George Hill, who also had a fantastic series.
X-Factor: F DeJuan Blair could be crucial in this series. San Antonio is going to have to throw a number of bodies at F Amare Stoudemire to avoid him taking over in these next couple of weeks, which could make for some very, very interesting matchups. Blair has the ability to go for 20 points and 20 boards if he plays enough minutes, and he may get the chance to make a huge impact in this series.
Key To Victory: Containing the pace of this series is going to be absolutely imperative for the Spurs to have success. HC Gregg Popovich knows that his team isn’t young enough or talented enough to run with the Suns, so he’ll have no choice but to try to run lots of half court sets to prevail.
How They Got Here: The equation was painfully simple for the Suns against the Portland Trail Blazers. If they scored more than 100 points, they won. If they didn’t, they lost. There were moments of brilliance from Phoenix in that opening series, but there were others that just made you scratch your head. Still, thanks to four very strong efforts, the Suns are once again in the Western Conference’s version of the Final Four.
Player To Watch: G Jason Richardson was letting daggers fly all over the place against the Blazers in Round 1 of this postseason. He averaged 23.5 points per game and shot a blistering 51.2 percent from beyond the arc to lead the way for the Suns. He’ll be a key matchup for G Manu Ginobili or F Richard Jefferson for the Spurs.
X-Factor: We said that C Channing Frye was going to be the X-Factor in Phoenix knocking off the Blazers, and he had a couple very strong games that highlighted that. However, he ultimately only shot 37.0 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from downtown. If he improves on that, who knows who is going to be able to play both Frye and Stoudemire at the same time for San Antonio!
Key To Victory: Simply put, the Suns have to hit their three pointers to keep the crowd in this series at home and out of it in San Antonio. The team was far too streaky against Portland to feel as though it can really win the NBA title, and that must change to take out a bunch of Spurs that know what it takes to become champs.
The Final Word: San Antonio has yet to lose a game on its home court in these playoffs, which could make for a very interesting and entertaining series. Someone is going to pick up a road win at some point though, and we tend to think that it’ll be Phoenix’s offense that ultimately prevails over San Antonio’s defense in a great series.
Suns in 6
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