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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 7:00 AM

For the first time of the 2014 postseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder looked TIRED this past Thursday Night in their Game Five loss to the San Antonio Spurs. They had been defeated six times prior in this year’s playoffs. But, it was never because they were too tired to compete.

*Their two losses to Memphis came in Games 2 and 3, before the Thunder surged home with three straight victories to take the series. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were lethal with the game on the line as that series wound to a close in games six and seven. Their losses could be attributed to poor shooting, softer than needed defense. But, not tired legs. Not in the first round!

*Their two loses to the LA Clippers came in Games 1 and 4…and Game 4 was a nailbiter that could have gone either way. The Clippers were the tired team in Game One after having to travel from their Game Seven vs. Golden State. Once again, the Thunder closed strong with a six-point ROAD win to wrap things up. Fatigue wasn’t an issue.

*Their first two losses to San Antonio came because Serge Ibaka was out with a calf injury. They were too short to protect the basket. They weren’t too tired to play.

Thursday Night, the game got away from them in the second quarter. They never showed a second wind…or much of a hint that a second wind was even possible. Most disturbingly, that loss came with Ibaka back on the floor. Maybe playing three games in five nights was too much for his recovery. Or, maybe the cumulative fatigue of Durant and Westbrook carrying so much of the load through the brutal Western brackets finally took its toll. The Thunder looked tired, played tired, and even sat tired in the fourth quarter.  

What’s clear is that Oklahoma City MUST have an edge in athleticism to beat San Antonio…and they don’t have that when their legs are gone.

Picking Saturday Night’s winner will very much involve being able to anticipate how much energy and fire the Thunder can bring to the game. If benching the starters relatively early was the right choice, then the Thunder can win another home blowout after scoring two double digit victories already in this series. If the legs are gone for good, San Antonio will have several days off as they get ready for the NBA Championship Finals that begin on Thursday.

Here’s how the market sees it Saturday.


Las Vegas Line: Oklahoma City by 3.5, total of 207

Given prior pricing in his series, that number suggests that the market sees San Antonio as the slightly better team on a neutral court. San Antonio was just laying -5 or -5.5 in the Alamo City. Keep in mind that the market MISSED BADLY on the first two games in OKC. The Thunder led both of those games by at least 20…won by 9 and 13 after coasting through garbage time…against pointspreads of -2 and -2.5. Solve the energy riddle…and you’ll cover this game EASILY.

JIM HURLEY has been working very closely with his on-site sources to solve that riddle. He’s not worried now about computer simulations or stat tendencies. He knows what he needs…he knows how to get it…and he knows when to pass it on to you for maximum line value!

You can purchase the final word for Saturday right here at the website with your credit card. Be sure to take care of business early because of DAY baseball. This creates a great opportunity for money management because you can re-invest early profits in evening action! If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Don’t forget to ask about THE BELMONT that goes next Saturday.

Our next NOTEBOOK report will be Sunday. If the Western Finals goes to a seventh game, we’ll be back on Monday to preview the grand finale. If the Spurs win Saturday Night, you can look forward to daily baseball notes until the NBA Finals begin on Thursday June 5.

Will the Western Championship be won Saturday Night? When championships are on the line, you need WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!

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