Los Angeles and Oklahoma City both survived extremely competitive, seven game series in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, but the Clippers showed no hangover after stealing Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Chesapeake Energy Arena Monday night. The Clippers certainly have motivation on its side after being swept by San Antonio in last year’s second round, and players are cognizant of the fact that the franchise has never advanced beyond the Conference Semifinals. Let’s take a look at the fundamental analysis to determine who has the advantage from strictly a numbers standpoint.
Fundamental Analysis – Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles is averaging 108.3 points per game on 47.5% shooting from the field against teams that would combine to allow just 101.5 points per game to mediocre offensive squads. Let’s also note that the Clippers are 26-18 ATS on the road this season where they are averaging 105.0 points per game and are currently averaging an impressive 112.2 points per game in the playoffs (48.0% FG; 37.4% 3-PT). Overall, Los Angeles is 6.8 points per game better than average offensively this season.
The Clippers continue to struggle at the defensive end of the court where they are allowing 102.2 points per game on the road, 106.2 points per game in the playoffs and 109.4 points over their last five games. The concern is that teams are shooting 47.1% from the field and 40.7% from three-point territory against Los Angeles since April 27. Oklahoma City should have success penetrating the Clippers’ subpar defense in Game 2.
Fundamental Analysis – Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City is averaging 105.8 points per game on 46.8% shooting from the field against teams that would combine to allow just 101.1 points per game, thereby making the Thunder 4.7 points per game better than average offensively this season. More importantly, the Thunder are 36-10 SU and 25-20 ATS at home this season where they are averaging 107.5 points per game on 48.0% shooting from the floor and 37.8% from beyond the arc. Oklahoma City is also averaging 102.5 points per game in postseason play.
Similar to Los Angeles, the Thunders’ defense has been underwhelming this season. However, Oklahoma City is still 1.4 points per game better than average defensively overall (99.8 points per game to teams that would combine to average 101.2 points per game). The Thunders’ stop unit is also slightly better at home where they are limiting opponents to 99.2 points per game (43.5% FG; 36.6% 3-PT).
From a technical standpoint, Oklahoma City is 18-7-1 ATS in its last 26 games following a double-digit loss, 13-6 ATS in its last 19 games versus teams with a win percentage above .600, 47-33 ATS after failing to cover the point spread, 50-29 ATS off a home loss and 36-19 ATS off an upset loss. The Thunder generally get even after a loss as they are a profitable 17-7 ATS avenging an upset loss at home and 23-12 ATS at home with revenge.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games versus teams with a winning record, 19-7 ATS in its last 26 road games versus teams with a winning record, 35-17 ATS versus teams with a win percentage exceeding .600 and 39-19-1 ATS after allowing 100 or more points in its previous game. The short-term trends also favor the Clippers as they are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games with limited rest.
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