- GAME 6 WIN!!!
- Sam Presti/Billy D after the series win
- How did OKC do this?
- A short preview of the GSW/OKC series
- Predictions for the Western Conference Finals
- And much more!!
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Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Maybe not, but for a Thunder organization that — whether they like it or admit it or not — still needs to convince Durant of how great he has it in this little town, winning this series is no small feat. You don’t go into the postseason with the kind of talent the Thunder have with small hopes, but given how great the Spurs have been, reaching this point is a milestone. No matter what, they beat the Spurs. They made their fourth Western Conference Finals in six years.”
Anthony Slater on Steven Adams’ migraine game: “Usually his right eye. Which is where he felt it pregame on Thursday, less than an hour before serving a key role in the Thunder’s 113-99 closeout Game 6 win over the Spurs. The Thunder’s 22-year-old center burst onto the national scene in this series. He had the frantic, game-saving defensive sequence in Game 2. Then he had the massive 16-point, 11-rebound double-double in Game 4, when the Thunder’s twin tower closing lineup, along with Enes Kanter, tilted the series. Adams and Kanter gave the Spurs such problems that Gregg Popovich was forced to adjust in Game 6. He went to the massive but seldom-used 7-foot-3 Boban Marjanovic in the first half.” Keep Reading…
Remember when the Spurs won Game 1 by 32?
I sure do. It was a massacre unlike you really ever see. The Spurs outclassed the Thunder in every way possible and suddenly the scope of everything had changed. Was this the death of the Thunder as we knew them?
What happened from then to now isn’t just surprising, it’s incredible. The Thunder turned into a new team. One with a tangible identity, a backbone and a belief they’re good enough. They became a defensive monster, clutch-time executioners, and rode the backs of doubted and disparaged role players. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were outstanding, because that’s what they are, but they also took over and led the team. They didn’t let them crumble after Game 1. They lifted them. Keep Reading…
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 1300 AM The Buzz Tulsa)
Time: 7:30 PM CST
Thunder lead 3-2
Playoff Team Comparisons (per NBA.com/Stats – out of 16 teams)
(This was scheduled to post, and it didn’t. That’s my bad. -ed)
This is it. This is what the Oklahoma City Thunder have worked towards this entire season. No, this is not their final goal. But in the progression of getting to their final goal, they knew they would likely have to reach this point. And in reaching this point, they’ve set themselves up nicely with an elimination game at home. Other than a road/home sweep, there is nothing more the Thunder could’ve done to set themselves up better for success in this series. Keep Reading…
I’ve decided to make this list even more subjective. Game 1 no longer counts. Here we go.
1. Russell Westbrook (+2 from last rankings)
Westbrook had the best all-around game of anyone in the playoffs in Game 5. Don’t look now, but he’s hustling more on defense, something that will have to hold up if the Thunder advance to face the Warriors.
2. Kevin Durant (-1)
Durant had a sleep-walking-to-20 Game 5, and maintained two important parts of his game that were lacking earlier in the semis: getting to the line and playing good D, particularly on the perimeter. Keep Reading…
Jenni Carlson: “They are winning this coaching battle, though the Thunder’s head man would rebuff the notion that a coaching matchup even exists. Donovan has challenged such conventions several times during these playoffs. Still, there’s no two ways around this fact: on one bench is arguably the best coach in NBA history, on the other bench is an NBA coaching rookie, and if you woke up today after a Rip Van Winkle nap, you’d have a hard time knowing which is which.”
Berry Tramel: “Acrobatic drives to the basket. Goofy turnovers, including a double dribble, a violation you might not see called in a thousand games. Clutch 3-pointers, including a 31-footer with OKC down six points in the fourth quarter and the shot clock nearing zero. Maniacal rebounds that no other human could replicate. Free safety defense, running around just looking for steals, leaving Tony Parker open as if he’s Andre Roberson. Game-winning plays at crunch time. Thirty-five points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and eight turnovers. Buy your ink by the barrel when filling out Westbrook’s stat line. Then after the game, a fashion show on the interview podium, where the can’t-miss stuff is not what Westbrook says, but how he looks. The bitter-beer response at reporters’ faux pas, incredulous countenance at questions that disgust him, eyes that light up when he hears something he likes from partner Kevin Durant.” Keep Reading…
Sam Amick of USA Today broke down a couple of options for Kevin Durant’s future and looked at his potential future earnings. You can read that article here. The article kicked off a minor Twitter conversation between Carson Cunningham of KOCO and ESPN’s Zach Lowe, one that I was brought into. Because if there’s anything Zach Lowe needs, it’s this guy’s two cents.
The numbers Amick used in the article are accurate. Well, as accurate as they can be based on current information. I’ll dive into that later. Also, Amick was writing an article, not a thesis. His article had almost 1,300 words and he may have needed two or three times as many to cover every single base. Instead, he narrowed the scope down to a couple of much more digestible paths. Keep Reading…
Tim Bontemps of the WaPo: “All season long, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been known for collapsing late in games. On 14 different occasions during the regular season and once more during the playoffs, the Thunder went into the fourth quarter with a lead, only to let it slip away. That was a deficiency that was expected to cost the Thunder dearly in this Western Conference semifinal with the San Antonio Spurs, a team that for two decades has trademarked its ability to stay calm, cool and collected in the biggest of moments and with the lights shining brightest.”
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “In less than two months, Durant will get to decide how much he thinks Westbrook helps make him great, and how much having a player like that at his side on the nights where Durant struggles (8-of-21) means to him. In the balance will be his future, Westbrook’s future, and the future of this team that rose from young pups to wild stallions on the verge of their fourth conference finals appearance. It’s telling though that when asked about Westbrook –after fawning over his point guard’s performance — Durant credited the rest of their teammates for a win that seemed impossible two months ago. And he said something that seems 100 percent in the moment, and could be very prophetic.” Keep Reading…