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San Antonio Spurs vs. OKC Thunder Game 5 Keys to Victory

May 8, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots the ball over Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the fourth quarter in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots the ball over Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the fourth quarter in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /
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The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are tied 2-2 in their series. History has shown than in situations like this, the winner of game 5 goes on to win the series far more often than not. Here are some keys to victory for the Spurs in game 5.

Ball Movement

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In game 4, the Thunder had 23 assists while the Spurs only had 12. These numbers were accumulated despite the Thunder having 6 less shot attempts than the Spurs. The Spurs’ assist total in game 4 was about half of what they averaged per game during the regular season. Low field goal percentage can contribute to a discrepancy like this, except the Spurs shot about 47% from the field in game 4, which is close to what they averaged during the regular season. As such, it can’t be blamed on poor shooting. They need to make an effort in game 5 to have more fluidity to their offense.

Outside Shooting

After hitting their perimeter jumpers in game 3, the Spurs took a nose-dive with their outside shooting in game 4. They went 10-19 from 3-point range in their game 3 win, but 2-12 from 3-point range in their game 4 loss. Clear patterns are developing in regards to how they fare on 3-point shooting. In their 2 wins this series, the Spurs are shooting a combined 56% from 3-point range. In their two losses, that combined percentage drops to 23%. And they’ve been relying on the shot about equally in their wins and losses, shooting it 34 times in their 2 wins and 35 times in their 2 losses. They need to do everything in their power to make sure their outside jumpers fall in game 5, because clearly their fate has been attached to their efficiency from beyond the arc this series.

Next: Should San Antonio Spurs Replace Tim Duncan in Game 5?

Danny Green Assertion

In game 4, Green only had 3 shots in 28 minutes played. The fact that he missed all of them and finished with 0 points emphasizes the fact that the Spurs need more on offense from their starting shooting guard in game 5. If he can develop a rhythm shooting the ball early, the Spurs can ride that wave that hopefully prolongs for the duration of game 5 and helps contribute to a victory. Green can score points in bunches, and needs to have the confidence to assert himself and let loose.

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