After predicting in mid-October Seattle would play and beat the Broncos in this year’s Super Bowl, I am going to step up and now declare that Oklahoma City will win the top heavy Western Conference in the NBA.
At press time the Thunder have the best record in the West, barely ahead of the San Antonio Spurs. As much respect as I have for San Antonio, I see this as the year of the Thunder.
For all intent and purpose the Thunder probably would have won the West a year ago had it not been for the unfortunate injury to star player Russell Westbrook. He has since had three surgeries but is scheduled to come back again as early as Feb. 20.
Westbrook’s absence has actually made this team stronger as they have had to rely on each other and continue to find a way to win. Guard Reggie Jackson has been outstanding and will add real depth once Westbrook returns. Derek Fisher is old, plays no defense and is simply one dimensional but does provide some veteran leadership even though he is my least favorite player in the NBA.
MVP frontrunner Kevin Durant is simply off the charts with what he has done up to this point. What a lot of people don’t realize is how good this team is defensively, ranking third in the Western Conference. This team is scary good. Durant last weekend scored 41 against the Knicks while holding Carmelo Anthony in check with only 15 points on 5-of-19 shooting.
After the game Durant said, “He missed some shots that he normally makes. I just tried to play as strong as I can, contest some shots and not get discouraged when he hits them because he makes tough shots and he’s a guy that can get hot. I just try to rely on my teammates, and they did a great job of helping me out, building a wall behind me, and I just tried to play as hard as I can.”
As you and I both know, Durant is the real deal and will lead his team to the promised land. It’s all about continuing to find value and being very selective when it comes to stepping up to the bet window and unloading on the Thunder. A little advantage goes a long way.
Moving forward on sports betting, remember the words of my friend and mentor Dink, who often times has said to “be on the move early or against it late.”
Play the Thunder to win the West. You’ll be glad you did.
Scott does 10 radio shows a week on Fox News Radio, Sports Byline USA on the Nick Bonsanto Show and his own show “Pritchard’s Picks” Thursday on AM1400 radio from 2 to 3 p.m. He is joined by Brett Grant, Anthony Padilla, Mark Mayer and Dink (featured in the sports betting movie “Lay the Favorite” starring Bruce Willis as Dink.) Contact him at [email protected].