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2013 NBA Playoff First Round Odds: Western Conference

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Think they'll be blowouts? Two West series have a Game 7 as their most likely outcome in the first round.

Make sure you check out yesterday's Eastern Conference preview as well!

(1) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (8) Houston Rockets

Most Likely Result: Oklahoma City Thunder in 5

4 Games5 Games6 Games7 GamesTotal Win Odds
Oklahoma City15.29%25.08%19.39%18.47%78.23%
Houston1.82%3.90%8.28%7.78%21.77%

Stat to Know: Turnover Percentage

It's long been said that Russell Westbrook is a bull in an antiques shop. He'll wreck you, but he's wreckless when he does it. However, I'd argue Westbrook isn't the problem with the Thunder's tendency to turn the ball over. His current 13.2 percent turnover rate is the lowest of his career, and his turnover rate sits even lower than Durant's 13.7 percent rate. This time, the point guard's fine.

The true issue behind Oklahoma City's 29th-ranked turnover rate comes with the non-Ibaka big men. Perkins (24.0 percent), Thabeet (24.1 percent), and Collison (17.3 percent) just can't hold onto the ball.

Too bad the Houston big men aren't exactly turnover masters in the paint. Omer Asik holds an incredibly low 0.9 percent steal rate, and Greg Smith is even worse with his 0.8 percent steal rate. The Rockets have only forced opponents into 2.7 turnovers per 48 minutes at power forward and 2.6 turnovers per 48 minutes at center this season. Turnovers shouldn't be the end-all-be-all strategy for Houston if they want to steal this series; they'll have to attack an OKC strength.

(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers

Most Likely Result: San Antonio Spurs in 7

4 Games5 Games6 Games7 GamesTotal Win Odds
San Antonio10.55%19.77%17.07%19.95%67.34%
Los Angeles3.02%6.92%12.57%10.15%32.66%

Stat to Know: Non-Kobe Efficiency

Kobe Kobe Kobe Kobe. It's all about Kobe. Until it's not. How do the Lakers compare with Kobe off the court as compared to him on the court this season? Well, with him on the court (76 percent of the Lakers' total minutes), L.A. averaged 111.3 points per 100 possessions and only allowed 108.1, a net difference of 3.2 points per 100 possessions. Considering San Antonio's own 6.7 point net difference, that's good, but not great.

Without Kobe, though, those numbers go hurtling off a cliff. The Lakers scored just 103.9 points per 100 possessions without Kobe this season, an offensive rating that would place them as the No. 20 offense in the NBA if strung out over the entire season. While they do allow less points with Kobe off the floor (104.9 per 100 possessions), that -1.0 net point difference per 100 possessions places them as one of only two playoff teams other than Milwaukee whose lineup allows more points than they score.

It's also interesting to me how the offensive style changes without shot-creating Kobe on the floor. With him, the Lakers also shot a .517 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) with Kobe, and 57 percent of their field goals were assisted. Without Kobe, though, 66 percent of the Lakers' field goals required assists... and they only shot .498 eFG% from the field. Shot creators are a weapon, folks, and the Lakers lost theirs.

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Golden State Warriors

Most Likely Result: Denver Nuggets in 5

4 Games5 Games6 Games7 GamesTotal Win Odds
Denver14.11%23.35%18.65%18.55%74.66%
Golden State1.88%4.78%10.07%8.61%25.34%

Stat to Know: Rebounding Percentage

This is a Denver team that really doesn't have many weaknesses. Out of the four offensive and four defensive Four Factors, Denver sits in the top 13 of the NBA in seven of them. The only sore spot? That 71.8 percent defensive rebound rate, No. 27 in the NBA. Luckily for Denver, though, Golden State also holds a relative weakness in offensive rebounding, as their 25.4 percent offensive rebound rate sits No. 21 in the NBA.

Golden State's real strength comes at the defensive end of the floor, where David Lee's personal 24.5 percent defensive rebound rate has spurred the Warriors to a league-best 75.5 percent defensive rebound rate. It's amazing how well they're able to clean up the glass... until they play Denver.

You see, the Nuggets hold the NBA's best offensive rebound rate, grabbing the board on 31.4 percent of available offensive rebound opportunities. Both Kosta Koufos and Kenneth Faried also sit in the top six of individual offensive rebound rates, both above 13 percent.

Denver won the offensive rebound battle in three of their four games against Golden State this season. They also won all three of those games. They also lost the only game where Golden State had a higher offensive rebound percentage. Just saying.

(4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Memphis Grizzlies

Most Likely Result: Los Angeles Clippers in 7

4 Games5 Games6 Games7 GamesTotal Win Odds
Los Angeles9.25%18.27%17.07%18.73%63.32%
Memphis3.34%8.00%13.89%11.45%36.68%

Stat to Know: Clippers' Effective Field Goal Percentage

It's strength vs. strength going head-to-head in this series: the Clippers' effective field goal percentage against the Grizzlies' lockdown shot defense. The Clippers shot .526 eFG% from the field this season, good for fourth in the NBA. With Chris Paul on the floor, that percentage was even better: his units managed to shoot an incredible .539 eFG%.

Considering that teams also usually shot well against the Clippers (their defensive eFG% sits an average 12th), L.A. often had to shoot their way to wins. And at least recently, it has worked: the Clippers didn't shoot under .494 eFG% the entire month of April, and they went 7-1 over that span.

Memphis, though, may be their toughest challenge. The Grizzlies' allowed opponents to shoot only .475 eFG% against them this season, the third-best mark in the NBA. Breaking it down by position, only small forwards (.503 eFG%) shot above .500 against them this season, and a major portion of that figure was the now-departed Rudy Gay's .520 eFG% allowed to opposing shooting guards while in Memphis.

The Clippers' four games against Memphis this season surely fell along those lines. The three times L.A. shot at least .490 eFG%, they won the game. In their only loss against Memphis this season, they shot only .472 eFG% from the field.

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In This Article

Tim Duncan
FC, San Antonio Spurs

Chris Paul
PG, Los Angeles Clippers

Zach Randolph
FC, Memphis Grizzlies

Kevin Durant
F, Oklahoma City Thunder

James Harden
GF, Houston Rockets

Kenneth Faried
PF, Denver Nuggets

David Lee
FC, Golden State Warriors

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