2 min read

Friday Bolts – 5.23.14

Friday Bolts – 5.23.14
BoltsLogoNew1Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider

: “The San Antonio Spurs put a beating on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 to go up 2-0 in the series. The Thunder can’t do anything right and the Spurs can do no wrong. Just one veteran team outclassing a young, star-studded squad. But we thought that in 2012, and the Thunder made us all look like idiots. After falling behind by two games, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s squad ripped off four straight wins to earn a trip to the Finals, proving that two wins in a series is just that: two wins. It’s different this time around. The Spurs haven’t just gotten two wins; it’s two blowouts. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, only four teams have ever come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two games by double digits. While it’s tempting to draw parallels to the 2012 Western Conference finals matchup and think the Thunder can pull off another miraculous comeback, the circumstances are dire.”

Jeff Caplan of NBA.com: “Assuming the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t going to magically figure out a way to protect the rim in Serge Ibaka‘s absence with their current personnel, and with so little time to work on schemes against the mighty San Antonio Spurs, Durant needs to make an impact on the defensive end. He can help do that by improving in two key areas: Steals and turnovers. Durant had no steals in Game 1 and turned it over a game-high six times. Obviously, steals can lead to fast breaks and decreasing turnovers can help prevent them the other way.”

Spurs prove it’s hard to win the West.

Team websites in 1996.

Bill Simmoms: “I thought they could compete because of Durant and Westbrook, but they lost their athletic advantage. Think about the 2012 Thunder when they fell behind 2-0 to the Spurs, then swept the next four games — that team had Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka AND Harden, and Kawhi Leonard wasn’t close to being Sugar K. Leonard yet. The difference in quickness/athleticism/explosiveness was actually kind of startling. Two years later, we’re down to Durant and Westbrook on one side and a blossoming Kawhi on the other. So much for OKC’s massive quickness/athleticism/explosiveness advantage. Throw in the Popovich/Brooks coaching mismatch and OKC’s inability to find a lineup that can score and defend at the same time, and it’s looking bleak for OKC. So bleak that I’m not even going to bring up the You-Know-What trade again.”

David Thorpe tries to fix KD’s scoring problem.

Darnell Mayberry: “In these playoffs, the Thunder has ridden Durant for 43.3 minutes a night. His 649 total minutes this postseason are 70 more than Russell Westbrook, who totaled only 1,412 regular season minutes after missing 36 games. The closest Spur to Durant is Tim Duncan at 464 minutes, a 33.1 average. So if Durant has any more dominant performances left in him, he’ll need to dig deep to pull it on display Sunday. Otherwise, the Thunder’s season will be all but over.”