Spurs vs. Thunder Series Preview
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals will take place tonight when the Thunder host the Spurs. Here’s a series preview.
Long before the playoffs, before the season even started actually, many analysts speculated this was going to be the way things would go for these two teams. Arguably, Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA, but Chris Paul was able to expose his one weakness in the Clippers loss to the Thunder in the second round. In fact, Durant’s inability to play physical basketball was also exposed by Tony Allen in round one. The Grizzlies took the Thunder to seven games, before the OKC could rid themselves of the scrappy Memphis team. Surprisingly, the Thunder were able to handle the Clippers in six games. Oklahoma City had to earn every one of those four victories.
Now the Thunder enter the series without their most physical player: Serge Ibaka. Make no mistake, Durant is tremendous. He is a clutch basketball player and statistics will substantiate this claim.
However, the Thunder are pitted against the fundamentally sound and traditionally efficient San Antonio Spurs. This has always been San Antonio’s “M.O.”; they play smart basketball and do not make mistakes. Many argue that either Chris Paul or Steph Curry is the best point guard in the game. What about Tony Parker? The man is a true creator and innovator and he is the catalyst of this San Antonio team that knows how to rule the paint. Ideally, a Pacers/Thunder NBA Finals would be premium.
Despite their struggles in round one, San Antonio mopped up an excellent Portland team in five games. The Spurs are fresh and have home court advantage. Conversely, Oklahoma City beat San Antonio in all four matches this year. Oklahoma City will have to win game one to win this series. San Antonio wins in seven, it will be a hard fought series.