Western Conference Finals: Game 4 Preview and Prediction

 

 Game Information

  • Thunder lead series 2-1
  • Game 1: Thunder 108, Warriors 102
  • Game 2: Warriors 118, Thunder 91
  • Game 3: Thunder 133, Warriors 105
  • Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Time: Tuesday, May 24, at 9:00 PM ET
  • Betting Odds: GSW -1.5

Key Information

After Game 3 of this series, we’re seeing that the Thunder defense is taking control, slowing down key players, especially Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Until Monday evening, the NBA still had not announced the fate of Draymond Green for Game 4. As we now know, he will play, which I personally think is unfair, but it will make the series better.

Game 3 was definitely an unexpected blowout, considering OKC wasn’t even favorited to win the game. Here are some unusual Warriors stats from Sunday night:

  • Stephen Curry had a plus/minus of -39, by far his worst of the season (previous worst was -18).
  • The Thunder scored 133 points, the biggest scoring output of the playoffs so far.
  • Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson shot a combined 16-of-45, which is 36%.

The Thunder played about as well as they could on Sunday, fixing most of their major problems coming off of a game 3 blowout. Kevin Durant only had 1 turnover, Andre Roberson hit three 3-pointers, and the entire starting lineup shot over 46%.

This article is a preview for Game 4, so the reason I include all of this is to show how great the Thunder are playing right now. However, Golden State is still the only team ever, in the history of the NBA, to never lose back-to-back games. It would be even more shocking in this game if the outcome was as lopsided for the Thunder.

With this being said there is no denying that Oklahoma City is playing their best basketball of the season, so Golden State has to make adjustments. Something they have been doing all series is having a big man leave Roberson at the perimeter and shadow towards Durant in isolation. I would continue to take my chances with a Roberson open three, rather than giving Durant a one-on-one isolation. On the offensive end, the Warriors have been uncharacteristically bad at moving the ball. When the Thunder are running up and down, the Warriors are taking transition threes off of one or less passes. This is a recipe for disaster, as it will just feed OKC’s fast break. When Russell Westbrook is rebounding and pushing in transition, the Thunder are very hard to stop (had 6 defensive rebounds in Game 3).

It would be very surprising if the Warriors don’t bounce back so it should be a good game Tuesday night.

Prediction

Thunder 112, Warriors 109

 

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