THE Warriors will look to defend home court once more as they welcome Portland to Oracle Arena for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
Our focus for today’s free play will be on Golden State forward Kevon Looney who has been given a very generous rebounds total (5.5) for this one.
Looney has been elevated into the starting lineup in the absence of both DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant, but his total has been inflated to a number reflective of a 30+ minute starter which is something he’s not.
He’s also not a defensive rebounder and it’s his active efforts on the offensive glass that lead to the majority of his boards – but that’s something that won’t come easily against a Portland team that does a good job limiting second chance opportunities.
In Game 1, Portland gave up just 11 offensive rebounds and Looney, who finished the night with 2 rebounds, grabbed his two boards on the offensive glass.
In fact, in 13 playoff games so far he’s only picked up more defensive rebounds than offensive rebounds three times!
In his last eight games he’s cleared the 5.5 rebound total just once (he picked up 9 boards in Game 5 against Houston – five of those were offensive rebounds). When looking at those defensive rebounds, he’s averaged just 1.9 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Portland’s emphasis on limiting second chance opportunities will be key once again on the road and ensuring that each Golden State possession ends with just one field goal attempt is paramount to any chance they have of stealing an improbable win on the road.
Expect Looney to remain active on the offensive glass, but for all his defensive liabilities Enes Kanter is a terrific rebounder and unless you expect the UCLA man to snag at least 2-3 offensive boards there’s a very low likelihood that he clears this total.
Our projections have him finishing with 3.7 rebounds givings us a nice lean here.
Tip: Kevon Looney u/5.5 rebounds @ $1.73 (Sportsbet)