The San Antonio Spurs went on a rampage at season’s end, winning twelve of their last 13 games and serving notice that they could be a very worthy challenger to the 67-win Golden State Warriors for supremacy in the Western Conference on the way to perhaps defending their world championship.
So they are just going to steamroll their way to the West finals, right, Vietbet fans? Well, not so fast. Because of the logjam in the conference, a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans in the season finale dropped them from a possibility for the #2 position all the way to the sixth seed. So that means no home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, or any round, most likely. Not that this really bothers Gregg Popovich and his squad, which has made it a habit to disappoint crowds in their role as a visiting spoiler.
But this first-round matchup might be tricky for them. That’s because they are facing off against the Los Angeles Clippers, who have the ability to score a lot of points and dominate things down low.
Whether that plays itself out in “real life” is anybody’s guess. San Antonio may be opening this best-of-seven series at the Staples Center, but the Spurs are the -175 favorites to win the series according to the NBA playoff odds at Vietbet. So there is obviously a lot of respect for what this team has done in the past.
There are aspects of Game 1, and the entire series, that lend themselves to an approach not unlike that of a chess game. Let’s take the guy who helps the Clippers rule the paint on most occasions. DeAndre Jordan led the league in rebounding and shooting percentage (71%). He pulls down 24.5% of all available rebounds, which is tops in the NBA. He is also a premier shot-blocker. In other words, he provides a nice complement to Blake Griffin up front.
But Popovich has the potential to take all of that away, thus negating some of the Clippers’ strength. How? By continually putting Jordan in the free throw line. Jordan is not only inept on the line, he is notoriously bad, giving a whole new meaning to the term “foul shooting.” He is just below 40%, and if the Spurs can find enough fouls to go around, they can make sure he has to prove himself from the charity stripe. That might change Doc Rivers’ strategy late in a game, because he is a liability.
Jordan makes such a difference that it is advantageous to get him off the floor. And what the Spurs have to do is negotiate how they are going to “hack” Jordan while at the same time keeping their best players out of foul trouble.
Another area where Vietbet patrons know the Spurs have a chance to extract an advantage is with their bench, which is filled with role players. The Clippers don’t go as deep, and they’ll have more trouble generating offense off the pines if 35-year-old Jamal Crawford doesn’t get his shooting touch pack. Crawford missed five weeks with a calf injury and has returned for four games. Thus far he is 10-for-36 (28%) with 21% from beyond the arc.
San Antonio needs to change up defenses while dealing with Chris Paul, so expect Kawhi Leonard, last year’s NBA Finals MVP, to hassle him occasionally. And the Clippers had better cover the entire court, because we are looking at a San Antonio team that is operating as efficiently as it has all season on offense, hitting 50% or better in eight of its last ten games.
The Clippers are #1 in the NBA in Offensive Rating, so they could be well-equipped if it comes to trading points. Will that happen?This game has been bet down to pick’em,in Game 1, with a total of 207.5 points at Vietbet, which offers Dynamic Lines, so you don’t have to miss a move again, as well as LIve Betting Extra and deposits through both Visa and Bitcoin!
CHARLES JAY, a contributor to BangTheBook.com, is one of the most experienced sports betting writers in America, as he has written more than 10,000 pieces specifically for the industry over the last seven years. At one time employed as an editorial consultant with USA Network, he is also a former syndicated radio talk show host (American Radio Networks) and has also done color commentary on boxing events in the past for Prime Network (now known as Fox SportsNet). He is a veteran of more than a decade and a half working within the professional sports industry, and has been handicapping sporting events for over 25 years. In addition to this, he has compiled specialty odds for a number of online sportsbook operations and media outlets.