– The two best teams in the West and together with Miami in the complete NBA will meet in the night from Monday to Tuesday in San Antonio. The Spurs are currently ahead of Oklahoma, but they are much weakened because of Tony Parker’s injury. This will be their third duel of the season, and in the previous two matches each team won once.
Begins: 12.03.2013 – 02:30 CET
San Antonio Spurs
Spurs have open the season with a match against Oklahoma and then in their AT & T Centre in Texas won with narrow 86:84 thanks to points that Parker scored at the buzzer sound. NBA followers will remember Durant’s face when he saw that the ball went into the basket. Duncan played the match well and with 20 points and 8 rebounds led his team while Durant scored 23 points with 14 rebounds and 5 assists. However, Oklahoma revenged to the Spurs in mid-December when they won at home with 107-93. The Spurs will miss Parker and it will definitely live a mark in the game against Westbrook. Still, he is the best scorer and assistant in the team, and also the organizer of the San Antonio attack. The Spurs are among the best hosts in complete league, but Oklahoma play very well as guest. Spurs and Thunders are the two best teams in the league when the difference of scored and received points is counted. All this indicates that this will be an excellent match, where Spurs’ colours will defend the experienced Duncan and Ginobili together with young Green and Leonard. The bench is long enough to provide an additional support to the struggle against Durant and company.
Probable lineups San Antonio Spurs: Joseph, Green, Leonard, Duncan, Splitter
Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma probably did not expect that the Spurs will be ahead of them in this part of the season, but they certainly knew it is still one of the best teams in the NBA, which absolutely never should be underestimated. The first match of season they lost in San Antonio, but they won the second leaded by Ibaka, who scored 25 points and had 17 rebounds. Westbrook scored 22, Martin 20, and Durant 19 points to the Spurs, and the match was decided in the third quarter which Oklahoma won by 29-16. It is interesting that Durant this season shoots less than Westbrook, but he is the first shooter because of better shot from the game. All congratulations to Westbrook, he is really is a great playmaker but it is obvious that this season he should be more concentrated on the attack and how to achieve points, which cost the Tunders a defeat couple of times. The two men are the leaders of the team, but if there is no Ibaka at power forward position or brilliant Martin who often joins the game from the bench, many things would be different. Against the Spurs Ibaka will have his hands full against Duncan, while Martin will probably have Green on himself, who will try to derail him from his rhythm.
Probable lineups Oklahoma City Thunder: Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Ibaka, Perkins
San Antonio Spurs – Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma has the advantage for the simple reason that Spurs miss Parker. But the Spurs are very confident at home, and that should not be forgotten. We expect a much more uncertain match than the previous one, but we still give a slight advantage to the guests.
Better's Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder +2