May 21, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) chase down a loose ball in game two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The loss of Serge Ibaka for the rest of the postseason has, so far, been more impactful than most expected.
Furthermore, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has implemented both an offensive and defensive system that seems to have no flaws. Especially with OKC’s starting power forward out of the rotation, the Spurs have easily been able to get into the lane for either a layup or kick out to an open perimeter shooter.
Having the talent and leadership that Pop does in Tim Duncan is certainly the biggest factor of the Spurs success, but it’s not like Oklahoma City doesn’t have a franchise cornerstone of their own.
In fact, they have two.
And that gives even less of an excuse to ever be swept in the playoffs, without or without injury.
From Sam Amick of USA Today:
This simply isn’t a reenactment of the often-referenced 2012 Western Conference finals, no matter how many times the Spurs try to convince us that their collapse against the Thunder back then (when they had identical 2-0 series lead before getting swept) is serving as a cautionary tale. Not only was Ibaka in the fold back then, but Harden hadn’t yet been traded to the Houston Rockets and Spurs stalwarts like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green hadn’t grown into the players they are today.
The series moves to Oklahoma City for Game 3 and will start at 8:30 p.m. EST on TNT.
Will the Spurs Sweep OKC?