Westbrook & Co. steamrolling competition
Aside from last week’s slip-up against the defending Western Conference champions, Oklahoma City seems to be doing just fine without Kevin Durant.
Russell Westbrook and his friends can improve to 6-1 with a win over Miami this evening. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Thunder odds of -235 to triumph at home. Conversely, the Heat enter Chesapeake Energy Arena as +195 underdogs.
With Westbrook leading the charge, OKC sports the best record in the West. The five-time All-Star is averaging 33.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 2016-17. Not coincidentally, his lone misfire came against the Warriors several nights ago. Westbrook’s old running mate, Durant, scored 39 points on 15-of-24 shooting en route to delivering Golden State a 122-96 victory.
Erik Spoelstra can’t deploy such a transcendent individual talent. In fact, his whole crew’s coming off a 96-87 defeat at the hands of Toronto. Hassan Whiteside was the only bright spot on said occasion, posting the 68th double-double of his career.
Miami’s stellar center figures to fill the stat sheet vs. Oklahoma City, too. Yet Billy Donovan’s troops continue to demonstrate surprisingly good balance in the early going. In addition to Westbrook’s standard heroics, role players like Jerami Grant and Domantas Sabonis are stepping up in major ways. Expect more of the same shortly.
MONDAY NBA FREE PICK: HEAT/THUNDER OVER 203 POINTS