Ok I decided not to reuse this pic in the original post I wrote this morning, and instead go with Master Shifu.
Him being my representative of the Spurs, whilst OKC represented of course by the tiger, whoever he is.
Mind you, I’m not above click – baiting using images such as TD dunking, DUNKING, over Ibaka in the 1st quarter, like so:
But I’m still going with a great teacher because it’s so apt. How else can you describe, really, this wonderful, masterful game the Spurs can play. And look at these stats.
55% shooting? 27 assists to 19? Parker submitting 34 points? Everyone including Leonard in double figures with 18?
This is sports traversing into art form. This is a bunch of guys running around in loose clothes looking like highly orchestrated ballerinas. This is, as Reggie Miller said, how basketball should be played.
The only other thing I find remarkable about this game is OKC’s interesting way of forcing a change of pace. Faced with a 20 pt deficit in the 3q, I wondered what they would do to turn things around. They resorted to ugly ball, via hack – a – Splitter and just trying to bully guys around.
And the amazing thing is it worked. Early in the 4th they were just 6 pts. behind and SAN seemed to have lost its groove. I’m therefore coming out of this game with the realization that its possible to do such a thing, that when faced with a powerful enemy you can change things by just getting rough, but in a calculated manner as opposed to a wild – free – for – all rumble. There were skirmishes with Jackson and Duncan involved, and all I could think of was ‘why would you get into a fight when your team was leading‘? Apparently though that’s exactly what OKC’s plan was.
The problem though is that OKC’s lack of experience showed again in that they were unable to capitalize on that. When they whittled the lead down to manageable numbers it was their time to execute, but Westbrook is just not the kind of PG that thinks that way. Instead there were a hell of a lot of one – on – one, and while that’s spectacular to see if it works, I’m just not buying into thinking that’s enough to win against the Spurs. Eventually SAN got its groove back on and just finished the job.
Game 3, OKC will continue to be rough or even rougher for sure. OKC is looking like such a one – dimensional team, only good in the open court (they have 18 pts. off TOs as opposed to SAN’s 8). In order to win this one they have to do what SAN is doing. Execute, execute, execute. Stop it with these 1 on 1 excursions. The thing is I’ve never really seen them do that. The question now is are they able to suddenly develop a system this far into Round 3.