Western Conference Finals: Game 3 Preview and Prediction

 

 Game Information

  • Series Tied 1-1
  • Game 1: Thunder 108, Warriors 102
  • Game 2: Warriors 118, Thunder 91
  • Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Time: Sunday, May 22, at 8:00 PM ET
  • Betting Odds: GSW -3

Key Information

The Golden State Warriors came into this Conference Finals series as heavy favorites against an unpredictable Oklahoma City Thunder team. After stealing Game 1 on the road, the Thunder endured a blowout loss in Game 2. Despite this loss the Thunder come home with what they wanted, home court advantage for the series.

The Thunder are 6-1 this year in games following a double digit loss, including their Game 2 win over the Spurs after falling 124-92 in Game 1. If the Thunder are going to get back in the win column in Game 3, they are going to need Kevin Durant to perform up to his standards. His playoff averages are down in almost every basic category compared to his regular season averages this year:

  • PPG: Down from 28.2 to 27.4
  • RPG: Down from 8.2 to 6.8
  • APG: Down from 5 to 3.4
  • BPG: Down from 1.2 to 0.5
  • FG%: Down from 51% to 44%
  • 3PT FG%: Down from 39% to 29%
  • FT%: Down from 90% to 87%

Durant has had success against the Warriors in the regular season, so look for him to bounce back for the rest of the series.

The Warriors did a good job of neutralizing the Thunder in terms of Rebounds in Game 2, holding them to only 36, compared to their NBA best 48.6 RPG in the regular season. Holding Russell Westbrook to 1 rebound is a rarity for a reason, it will be hard to repeat in upcoming games.

Stephen Curry dominated the 3rd quarter of Game 2. Once he took over the game, the Thunder seemed to be drained mentally and physically. The two-time NBA MVP is obviously not easy to stop but giving him consecutive uncontested shots will usually get him going. OKC’s bigs need to be more aggressive hedging screens and the guards have to fight through screens.

The Thunder held Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to 25 points on 9/26 shooting, so if they can figure out the daunting task of slowing down Steph Curry, they have a chance to take control of this series.

Thunder fans should not be too worried about the Game 2 blowout, as they just came back from a 32 point loss to win four of the next five games in the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Spurs.

Prediction

Thunder 109, Warriors 104

 

My Basketball Twitter: @KDsIntellect

Follow @TheLastTimeout on Twitter for more articles

 

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