This is so obvious it hurts. You look at a team like the Thunder and how dominant they were throughout the season. Ever since the reports of Paul George’s rotator cuff injury they have gone 3-5 and lost 5 of their last 6 games. When the injury was first reported PG shot 0-3 and 3-6 from 3 in the first two games. Significantly down from his average of 9.8 on the year. The Thunder were able to win those games, mostly due to Russell Westbrook increasing his scoring. Since then they have been slumping and dropped 5 of 6. Paul George is now seemingly shooting more threes as if to prove that he is not injured. In the Thunder’s last game he shot 5-15 from 3 in a loss to the Grizzlies who were without Mike Conley and Avery Bradley. They started this slump with a loss to the Pacers and I think that is in play again tonight. This line is way too high for a team that is not healthy. Granted the Pacers have also been slumping recently. But they are coming off a big win over the Nuggets and I think they will carry that momentum into OKC tonight.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, their season’s success or failure depends on Paul George’s health. Russell Westbrook has shown he in unbelievable but he cannot do it by himself. No one can in the western conference. Not when you have to eventually play a team like the Rockets or Warriors who have players that can score so many different ways. It is unfortunate for Westbrook who is averaging a triple double for the third straight year. Somehow this has become commonplace to the media even though he is the first and only player in history to accomplish it even twice. The narrative will say that he pads his stats and doesn’t care about winning but it is not true. He is doing everything he can to win and unfortunately he has had to carry the load by himself. I really hope one day Westbrook can get the proper help he needs to win a championship because he is a fierce competitor. But this year will not be that year and today will not be the Thunder’s day. I’m taking the Pacers to cover and win outright.