Morning Rehash: Spurs Get Paddled by Thunder

Duncan has an historic - and embarrassing - night. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Nothing quite as invigorating as picking your teeth up the morning after a beat down. It's only one loss but it was an embarrassing one. Get your frustrations out, Spurs fans - and run through a condensed road edition of the Morning Rehash.

If you haven't read Fred Silva's recap of last night's game, you'd be better off doing that now before reading any further.

Welcome to the Opening Hash

Some people are superstitious whether by choice or through conditioning. I've found that a large number of these people are sports fans. I find myself in this grouping but it took me awhile to figure some of it out:

  • For every big game I watch at home, I buy a bottle of Argentinean wine.
  • On a similar note, there needs to be something in my glass (whether at the bar or at home). So sometime I'm pretty shot after a long battle... or a bad one.
  • Black socks on game day.
  • Whatever I've been doing on a big run, I'll keep doing it. Stub my toe and Manu hits a clutch shot? I'm kicking the sofa leg.
And You know what all of this does? Not a @#$! thing. I don't do any of that nonsense at the AT&T Center and I haven't been in attendance for a loss there since last year's playoffs. Yet I still find myself sucked into all of this voodoo, ritualistic habits.

Anyways, I'm buying a French wine next time. Lets look at some brief thoughts from last night's thrashing game.

On-the-Go Game Hash

I made light fun of Coach Brooks pre-game talk about "play better" and how it seemed painfully obvious and dry. But it seems his young team took it to heart and would accept nothing less than a vicious, unadulterated victory. For the first time in what feels like forever, the San Antonio Spurs looked shell shocked on the court. The Oklahoma City Thunder played a great game, some of their best basketball of the post-season, and we all knew it was coming. So did the Spurs. When facing the possibility of a 0-3 death sentence, most playoff teams will fire every cannon they have in the arsenal. Sometimes the effort just isn't good enough (Clippers) but sometimes, as it did last night, it just levels the competition to the ground.

Despite a strong San Antonio response after the Thunders' opening 0-8 statement, the Spurs just couldn't keep it together. They looked disorganized and lethargic which is what a blitzkrieg attack like the Thunders' (and the Spurs) can do to a team. With acting and reacting, the latter is always the slowest. The Spurs were reacting to the Thunder, rarely taking the action to them.
For long stretches, there was little to no communication on the floor. The defense was slow on rotations and half a court away when the Thunder possession found the open shooters. San Antonio was also very lazy on the glass at times, watching the ball instead of boxing out and attacking the ball.

Some people might be wondering where the heads of some of the Spurs' young players might have been last night - I have the answer.

In his Daily Dime submission, ESPN's J.A. Adande erroneously mentioned a brief locker room conversation that took place after the Spurs Game 2 victory.

That attitude is why I like the Spurs' chance to get to 22, then 26. It's the same take-care-of-business approach that permeated a brief locker room conversation between Leonard and Gary Neal as they dressed following the game.

"Two games down, two games to go," Neal said.

"Six more," Leonard said.

First of all, the conversation was between Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, not Neal. I know this because I was closer to the conversation than Adande was and I pay special attention to open chats between players. Secondly, the true context of all of this was missing. There was a wisp of arrogance in Green's comment which was followed by an unexpected (but also somehow also expected) response from Kawhi Leonard. Green then continued to talk about looking forward to a "real vacation" without any of the additional summer work in between seasons.

When I heard it, I didn't think that exchange between the young starting guards boded well for the Spurs. And it was all I could think about when I watched the duo go a combined 2-6 FG for 5 points while letting their assignments absolutely humiliate them. They didn't declare themselves champions or directly insult the Thunder but their minds were not on Game 3 and definitely not on the impending, and obvious, OKC fury to come.

Hopefully now, their mouths are shut and their brains finally back with them in Oklahoma.

X459_medium

via cache.daylife.com

Come on Jackson, get in front of the **** ball! Don't give me this "olé" ********!

This Thing Was Over...

...with 7:59 remaining in the 3rd quarter (17 PT Thunder lead). San Antonio was slow on both ends of the court and reacting two steps slow to every Thunder action.

My Game Boss

Thabo

THABO SEFOLOSHA

MIN

PTS

FGM-A

3PM-A

AST

REB

STL

BLK

36

19

7-16

4-10

1

6

6

1

Thabo's length and hustle on defense and the boards was killing the Spurs at every turn. Didn't hurt that he was wide-freaking-open on nearly every 3PT attempt. Expect Thabo's defense on Tony the entire game on Saturday.

My Game Runt

Duncan_pro

TIM DUNCAN

MIN

PTS

FGM-A

REB

AST

BLK

PF

TO

25

11

5-15

2

1

5

3

2

I don't care if he became the all-time leading blocker in playoff history. Tim Duncan was just awful on every spot on the court. If there is any good to come out of this, its that Tim is likely going to take a few scalps on Saturday night. The man has pride.

If I Had to Make Up a Word/Phrase for this Game, it Would be...

Thabocating - Like suffocating except the trauma is from a neutral country.

Bird is the Word (Tweets of the Game)

@Mos_Heff: There is only one person to blame for this loss...Richard Jefferson.

@CoachGodwin: POP made his starters watch this blow out.

@InsideHoops: Nice of the Spurs to let DeJuan Blair stop doing laundry

@dailythunder: I'm kind of afraid DeJuan Blair is going to remind Pop that he absolutely destroys the Thunder in these next four minutes.

@HPbasketball: Game 4, Spurs win, series is over, Thunder wins, this thing looks waaaay different. Tonight was big, 4 is bigger.

Odds, Ends, & Other Rubbish

  • Thunder were playing pretty physical in this one. Bumping off-balanced players, cutting under players in the air, etc. I'm not complaining - I want to see the same physicality from San Antonio.
  • Craig Sager got a total of 11 words from Coach Pop during the between-quarters interview.
  • Officiating was terrible on both ends of the floor. It switched back and forth in team favor with OKC getting the biggest benefit in the 2nd quarter. Then the whistles would just completely disappear. Way too many make-up fouls too. Show some backbone, refs. (THIS in NO WAY was the reason for the Spurs' loss - don't even try).
  • Why do both cities feel the need to please Charles Barkley? San Antonio gives him the grand down town tour and Oklahoma City bought him custom-made boots.
  • I've never seen the Thunder run their mouths and stare down other players this much before. Fine by me. Just more crow to eat.
  • I love Pop's "WTF? Seriously?" timeout talks... hate the reason for them though.
  • TNT decided to show highlights of the Spurs last loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. I'll take it as long as the Spurs react the same way the did the next time they faced L.A. - with great vengeance and furious anger.

X459_medium

via cache.daylife.com

Show of hands - How many of you wanted Gary Neal banished to the Phantom Zone after this one?

Going into Game 4, the Spurs need to...

Forget game 3. No doubt the Oklahoma City Thunder are a great team but this is was one of the worst losses the Spurs have suffered all year... and by a team they've dominated in recent years. San Antonio fought back early but they allowed themselves to be completely taken out of their own offensive element. In essence - they quit.

Flush the memory and go out there and play your game, Spurs - shove it down OKC's throat if you have to. Spurs also need to light a fire on defense. Too many poor decisions and rookie-grade mental errors.

Don't react - go out there an set the action. Fight for the 50/50 balls and play with an edge. Get in the Thunders' face and remind them of what this team can do.

Note: J.R. Wilco will be taking over the Morning Rehash for Game 4. Looking forward to it.

Go Spurs Go!

You can follow Aaron on Twitter: @DukeOfBexar

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