According to Ladbrokes’ odds, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are in a battle to finish as the Western Conference’s silver medallists in the NBA Playoffs.
The pair are priced at 7/5 and 15/2 respectively in the bookmaker’s market to win the West. Those prices position both clubs behind the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, who are an odds-on option at 4/5.
However, a knee injury to the market-leaders’ star man, Steph Curry, may have just cracked open a window of opportunity for the chasing pack to capitalise on.
The Spurs and Thunder are set to meet in the West’s semi-finals, with the winner almost certain to battle Golden State for the honour of representing the conference in the Finals.
That, though, may be getting ahead of the curve slightly, as the tussle between the second and third seeds is sure to serve as perfectly wholesome starter on its own.
The pair met four times during the regular season and won two apiece, taking both of their respective home games.
A host of stars decorate each roster, with the Spurs dripping in talent from future Hall of Fame 40-year-old Tim Duncan to Defensive Player of the Year winner Kahwi Leonard. The Thunder owning two of the sport’s biggest stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The difference in the series may not rest with those giants though, as bench depth stands to have a big say in the final result.
In that department San Antonio are unmatched. Coach Gregg Popovich has his pick of any of the 12 men on his squad, content in each of their abilities. For the Thunder, Durant and Westbrook don’t trust many of their teammates beyond each other.
If the Spurs, who were the best defensive team during the regular season, can hold that All-Star pair at bay and force the inadequate Thunder reserves to a bigger part than OKC would like, then they’ll have little trouble advancing to their fourth Conference Finals in five years.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.