The NBA Playoffs: Spurs Roll into 2-0 Lead

Tony Parker sliced up the Thunder defense all night
to finish with 34 points and 8 assists
(Photo by Getty Images)
#T-E-A-M #NOTboring
These Spurs are not boring. They can run the fast break, they shoot threes and they can score a bunch of points. In fact, they are exciting to watch and they play excellent TEAM basketball. Their ball movement is crisp and their shot selections are products of executing extra passes. In Game 2, their unselfish was beautiful to watch that even their defenders got caught watching them, thus leading to uncontested shots and layups. The Thunder were helpless on defense as the Spurs executed their offense to perfection. The pick and rolls resulted in open jumpers or back cuts to the hoop and ball reversals to the open three-point shooter. The Spurs shot a blistering 55% from the field, made 11 treys and had 27 assists.   

#flawless #streakisalive
So the Spurs have not lost a game in more than 5 weeks. They are 9-0 in the playoffs and have won 20 straight games overall. I picked the Spurs in 7 and believed that the Thunder would give them problems. So far, it's been all Spurs. The Thunder never led in Game 2 and were down by as much as 22. The Thunder Big 3 combined for 88 points but they still lost and it was not that close of a game. The Spurs were so hot during the third quarter that coach Scott Brooks had to use a Popovich strategy: intentionally foul a bad free throw shooter. The Thunder fouled Tiago Splitter 4-5 straight possessions and he made about half of them. That strategy worked as the deficit shrunk to around 10 points near the end of the third quarter. The problem was that the Thunder could not use that strategy all game long and Splitter was removed from the game.

The OKC Thunder were left searching for answers in Game 2. They
didnt find any and ended up losing. Games 3 and 4 will be in OKC
(Photo by Getty Images)

#Old3 #parker
The battle of the point guards took center stage in Game 2. This round and game belonged to Tony Parker. TP sliced and diced the Thunder defense to score 34 points on 16-21 shooting plus added 8 assists. Parker made minced meat of Westbrook's defense and exposed him as a mediocre defender. Tim Duncan had vintage game, another ho-hum double-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks. Timmy had a monster slam over Serge Ibaka before half time. One of his best dunks of late. Manu Ginobili continued his stellar performance in this series with 20 points and clutch shooting. As added bonus, Kawhi Leonard chipped in 18 and 10, Danny Green had 10 and 5 while Boris Diaw had 9 points and 7 rebounds.

#Young3 #searchingforanswers
Im not sure the Thunder Big 3 could have played any better. They scored 88 points, had 19 rebounds and 17 assists. They got to the free throw line (22-26) and 2 of the 3 shot efficiently (not Westbrook 10-24). The problem lies in their defensive rotations and overall team defense. It's true that the Spurs played magnificent team ball but the Thunder could have done better defensively. Their Big 3 need to step up defensively especially Westbrook who loves to loaf around on defense which results in free shots for Parker. On offense, the Thunder need to execute more ball movement. They need to get the Spurs to rotate and make defensive mistakes, hopefully get people into foul trouble. 

#Tweet of the Night

Timothy Legler ‏@LegsESPN, ESPN NBA analyst 
"Absolutely one of the greatest offensive displays ive ever seen in the playoffs. #Spurs are embarrassing the #Thunder"

#News #Stats

  • Duncan is now 2nd in all-time blocks in playoff history
  • Thunder had 26-10 fast break points
  • Teams with 2-0 leads in conference finals result in 94% success rate
  • Splitter went 6-12 in free-throws 
  • Durant has shot a combined 1-5 in the 2 fourth quarters
  • Westbrook has had more attempts than Harden and Durant
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