Some Encouraging Thoughts From Thursday’s Thunder Game

By Michael Rehome

Apr 4, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) handles the ball against San Antonio Spurs guard Kawhi Leonard (2) in the first half in Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Those of you that watched the Spurs 100-88 loss to the Thunder on Thursday night can easily bring up some issues that, well are discouraging.  We can make a big list of what went wrong for San Antonio but we are not going to dwell on those.

Who would want to?

Believe it or not, there were some very encouraging actions that were taking place in the game and that my friends, is what we are going to look at…..right now.

  • Kawhi Leonard. He truly is the future of the San Antonio Spurs and last night, like any other night, he proved it once again. Thursday night he scored 24 points on 50% shooting with 14 rebounds, 6 assists, and a steal in 42 minutes. Popovich has labeled him their go to guy to stop opponents best player, and on Thursday, his task…..Kevin Durant.  He helped force Kevin Durant into 6 turnovers. What makes me feel great about him is his energy and hustle.  No matter what the score is, Leonard is always working his tail off.  Over his last 9 games he has averaged 15.3 points, 8.6 rebs, and 2.4 assists per game, all WELL above his season averages. He is as we all can say in BEAST mode and if he can maintain this elevated play in the playoffs, he will be a huge factor for the Spurs’ success.
  • Nando De Colo.  If there was one person that really took advantage of his playing time off of the bench it would have to be Nando. He looked much more comfortable on the floor.  Before, he would try and make the offense happen so quick.  Thursday, he settled down and let the offense set up.  He did not force anything to happen.  He had just one turnover in the game.
  • Tim Duncan. I am almost at a loss for words with the way that Duncan is playing this season.  He continued his stellar play, scoring 24 points with 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.  That’s four straight double-doubles for Timmy.  We are not counting his brief stint during the Orlando Magic game.
  • Defense.  Spurs lost, I know.  That aside, you can’t help but look at the job that we did on Kevin Durant.  When the game seemed to have a momentum switch to San Antonio, it was because of what they were doing on Durant.  The Spurs forced Durant to turn the ball over six times.