There's been constant discussion about the painful 6 game WCF series in which our beloved Spurs fell to Stern's beloved Thunder. Things started out promising with a 2-0 lead, but there were signs that our team was due for a fall. Unfortunately, the next few games we saw the Spurs offensive machine hit a few kinks. Game 3 was a blowout, while games 4,5 and 6 were all lost in close, painful fashion. Impressively, even with the Spurs playing at "B" level on offense, they were able to be extremely competitive in these games. If it wasn't for some shady officiating in Game 6, there was a good chance we'd have a game 7 at the AT&T center. I thought there were some shady calls in game 4, but we'll set that aside for this analysis. I'm not going to do a thorough analysis, but want to point out some highlights that even I myself, having watched and pretty much breathed Spurs basketball 24/7 have forgotten. Here it goes!
Game 1: Spurs win 101-98.
-Spurs go into 4th with a 9 point deficit
-Manu is player of the game with 26 points (9/14 FG), 5 reb, 3 ast, 3 TO in 34 minutes.
-From the +/- it seems as if the bench really won this game, with 3/5 starters in - (guess which 2 weren't...).
-Big 3 of OKC all have decent games, but as a team shoot 42% compared to Spurs 45%
Things that should change from last year:
-Tiago only played 13 minutes, while Bonner played 10. I can't see these minutes taking place in a close game this eyar
Game 2: Spurs win 120-111.
-Spurs play great, esp in the 3rd quarter and hold off Thunder in the 4th
-To quickly summarize the big 3: tony has 34 points/ 8 assists, Manu also scores 20 on 11 shots, while Timmy struggles on offense, but holds down the fort on D
-Kawhi steps up with 18/10
-Spurs hit 55% on 3's, 43% on 3s, have 27 assists to only 13 TOs
-On the OKC side, Big 3 combine for 88 points on very good shooting, but the rest of the team combines for 7/34 shooting.
Things that will change:
-Harden scored 30 points on 13 shots. I just can't see Martin having this type of game.
-Splitter played 11 mintues compared to Bonner's 17. Once again, can't see this happening.
Game 3: Spurs lose 82-102.
Gonna keep this short. Spurs won 20 in a row, and they were bound for a loss. OKC played well as a team. Had 5 ppl in double figures, with Thabo having 19. Duncan took 15 shots for some reason and Anderson had 15 minutes of playing time...I think we know what that means. This one was over before the 4th quarter.
Things that will change:
To be honest, hard to find any hear. This was just an example of the Spurs having a stalled offense (shot 39%). OKC only shot 45% which is pretty low for a team that wins by 20.
Game 4: Spurs lose 103-109.
-OKC takes over in 4th quarter
-Tony held to 12 points (on 15 shots). Scoring is made up by Tim (21 from 17 shots), Diaw (12 from 11), Manu (13 from 7), Jack (11 from 6), Kawhi (17 from 8).
-Infamous Ibaka 11/11 game, with Harden/Westbrook only combining for 18 points. Durant scores 36, even Perkins scores 15.
Things that will Change:
-This is when Pop starts messing with the lineup. Blair takes over as the 3rd big, with Bonner/Splitter playing a combined 7 minutes
-The Spurs were close, they shot 50% FG, and 47% from 3 (made 11). Really the game was lost on defense, as OKC shot 56%
-IBAKA game was NOT a FLUKE- i analyzed his 11 shots a couple days ago. 6 were WIDE OPEN jumpers. A couple were jab steps, but most a byproduct of their Big 3 driving. Ibaka is a good jump shooter and while 6/6 is a bit lucky, you can expect him to make at least 3/6. He had a good day, which is to be expected in a 7 game series. The other 5 shots were point blank dunks or layups (by product of Big 3).
Game 5: Spurs lose 103-108.
-OKC won this with their big 3 combining for 70 points and 20 assists. Some solid 6 points from 3-4 reserves as well
-This is when our lineup just became a mess: Manu started and played a great game and played 34 mintues. Danny Green went from starter to playing 3 minutes.
-TO's doomed the Spurs as we had 21- TWENTY ONE, to only 23 assists. You can't win playoff games with 21 TOs. This is when our box score started looking like OKC's with the Big 3 trying to carry the load (and Jack who had 13 on good shooting). And OUR bench was the one with all the -'s.
Things that will change:
-Jack played will and for 30 minutes. At this point, I'm not sure if he's gonna be able to find his stroke soon enough to play for 30 min.
-I don't think Green will go as cold as he did last year to play only 3 mintues. I think his 3 pt shot has evolved where he's more confident and able to hit with hands in his face
Game 6: Spurs lose 99-107.
-this game was a heart breaker. We had a 15 point halftime lead with jack going ape shit. I felt like the 15 point lead got cut into 5 when at the halftime buzzer Durant nailed a 3 with Jack draped over him. If I remember correctly, we lost most of that lead in the first 4/5 minutes and only had a 1 pt lead going into the 4th.
-Tony finally came alive after being dormant for most of the series (barring game 2). Scored 29 with 12 assists (only 1 TO).
-Manu looked gassed from his 38 minutes in Game 5. Started again and played heavy minutes, but only scored 10 on 12 shots.
-By this time the bench was GONE. literally gone. Other than Jack who played 32 minutes and Neal who played 20, the rest of them combined for 4 minutes and 0 points. We went from a deep team to a rotation of 7.
-OKC won this with their big 3 combining for 75 points. Durant played for 48 minutes and scored 34 and brought down 14 rebounds. This was his night.
Things that will (hopefully ) change:
-REFS. This game was infuriating to watch with the refs in the 4th quarter. No doubt they changed the complexion of the game.
-Our bench won't hopefully disappear.
Really interesting going back and looking at the box score.
-I never realized how Tiago was invisible the whole series. He can really bring a dift dimension to this series. If he can force Perkins to stay in the game (With Diaw in the game, they could put Durant on him and go small), it gives the Spurs a better chance of limiting a dreaded lineup of : WB, Martin, Thabo, Durant, Ibaka.
-I'm also scared that we underestimated capt jack. his +/- numbers were always + and Kawhi really did struggle to defend Durant.
-Harden's impact was bigger than what his box score said. While he didn't score too many points (he only had 2 games with 20+ points), he did run the 2nd unit well and their bench outplayed ours. That simply cannot happen this year. I believe if we can make them a 2 person team we can win. If Martin is able to score his 17 points on efficient scoring (like he has), I'm not sure we can beat them.
-Tony needs to put up 20/10 every game. He can't have 12 point games with 4 TOs.
-Manu needs to score about 20 and limit his TOs. Manu had 20 assists to 23 TOs. That is simply unacceptable. I think he needs to focus more on making the simpler passes instead of trying to thread it in there. A long, energetic defense like OKC really just ate up Manu's passes last year.
-Our role players have to up. I'm talking about Green hitting his 3s. Kawhi needs to defend Durant. Tiago needs to be physical and roll hard to the basket.