Well Spurs fan, here we are again.
After being up 2-0 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in this year's Western Conference Finals....the series is now tied up 2-2 after the Spurs got manhandled in the last two games in Oklahoma.
If this sounds familiar, it's because it is.
It is pretty rare to come back from an 0-2 deficit...in fact only 6.3% of teams in NBA history have done this.
However, one of the teams that has done it... this Oklahoma City Thunder team.
Luckily for the Spurs, not only do we have the home court advantage but also the coach of the year in Popovich...and you can be assured that adjustments will be made.
What adjustments will those be? I don't know...but I have three suggestions.
1. Start Boris Diaw over Tiago Splitter
If you were to poll the majority of fans and asked the top reason the Thunder have won the last two games...you would likely get the same answer.
The starting center for the Thunder who did not play the first two games of the series due to injury has come back and made a huge impact on the series in the last two games.
His impact has been mainly at the defensive end...plugging up the lane and blocking or altering shots causing havoc on the Spurs offense. In addition, he is also making outside shots on the offensive end as well.
The best way to counter this is to draw this guy out of the paint...and what better way than to have Diaw match up with him. Diaw is the most versatile big the Spurs have...as he can not only take Ibaka off the dribble but more importantly he can become a three point threat and keep Ibaka out of the middle. He is also a better defensive matchup for Ibaka since Ibaka mainly scores his points on jumpers.
Splitter is a great player...but his skills at this point are limited to in the paint and is just a poor matchup in this series against Ibaka.
2. More playing time for Corey Joseph and less for Marco Belinelli
Let's just be real, there is no stopping Kevin Durant, the MVP of the league. He is both extremely talented and has one of the highest basketball IQs in the league.
But his counter part Russell Westbrook? Let's just say he is really talented. The Spurs can do a better job of making Westbrook take tough shots because...well he just takes them anyways... unless we give him easy layups.
One of the Spurs' best defenders besides Leonard, who is busy guarding Durant, is Corey Joseph...someone who has proven himself that he can keep up with some of the best offensive players in the league...and also can score.
Belinelli has sadly been a poor matchup as well in this series. While he might be the best three point shooter in the league...the Spurs need a defender against Westbrook and someone who can drive to the paint and get their own fast break points.
In game 4, the Spurs got ZERO fast break points....compared to 21 by the Thunder.
3. Drive to the basket
Yeah, it's just a cliche...but in this case it needs to happen.
The Spurs have dominated the paint in their two wins...and this shouldn't stop just because we played on the road and that the Thunder have their center back. It is important to continue to be aggressive and remember how we won our first two games.
Not only will this increase our field goal percentage...but will get them in foul trouble...and more importantly open up the three point line for Danny Green and the best three point shooting team in the league.
If there is a Spurs genie out there...if you could grant my three wishes that would be great.
Go Spurs Go!