Now that Round 2 is underway, it’s time to evaluate players on their series performance. The updated rankings are reflective of the Thunder’s sobering Game 1 loss to the Spurs. Charlie Villanueva ain’t walking through that door.
1. Kawhi Leonard (+1 from last ranking)
The KD (season-low 16 points on 40% shooting) vs. Kawhi (25 points on 77% shooting) isn’t competitive so far. And oh, Leonard guarded Russell Westbrook no problem.
2. LaMarcus Aldridge (+2)
Hard to keep him out of the top spot after a scorching 38-point game, but he didn’t put on a shooting clinic while simultaneously shutting down a Thunder weapon on defense like Leonard did. Also, the degree of difficulty was pretty low for Aldridge–he shot 78% in a glorified, uncontested shooting warmup.
3. Tim Duncan (+5)
Duncan only scored 8 points, but he was crucial to the Spurs’ back line success in frustrating Russell Westbrook at the rim.
4. Danny Green (+5)
83% from three and stifling defense on Durant? That’s a pretty good game.
5. Serge Ibaka (+1)
The best Thunder performer in Game 1 scored just a hair under 20 and gave up a huge chunk of Aldridge’s buckets.
6. Kevin Durant (-3)
6 seems high for Durant after yet another subpar game from the former MVP, but the Spurs’ production was actually quite concentrated. Duncan, Manu, and Parker combined to score 16 points in a blowout Spurs victory. Times have changed.
7. Dion Waiters (+8)
One of the few Thunder players who did something in Game 1. I don’t think it makes sense to start him, but I think there’s a 50/50 shot Donovan goes ahead and swaps him in for Roberson.
8. Steven Adams (-3)
Did his part, but his part isn’t enough to change the outcome of a game like this.
9. Russell Westbrook (-8)
Only 2 turnovers to 9 assists! Just ignore his shot chart.
10. Boris Diaw (+2)
Diaw and every Spur below him were classic Spurs role players in Game 1: they didn’t score much, but moved the ball and played good team defense. It’s a simple formula that seems to work out for San Antonio from time to time.
11. Cameron Payne (+6)
He hit the only Thunder three in the first half. He also appears to be back in the rotation, but we’ll see if that lasts after the disastrous opener.
12. Manu Ginobili (+2)
13. David West (-2)
14. Enes Kanter (-4)
15. Andre Roberson (-1)
16. Patty Mills (-3)
17. Boban Marjanovic (+0)
There should have been much more Boban in Game 1.
18. Anthony Morrow (+1)
Billy Donovan was desperate in the opening game, but his desperation was centered on defense. Morrow has zero trust of the coaches on that end, so even in a blowout he saw very little playing time.
19. Tony Parker (-3)
20. Kyle Anderson (-2)
Honorable mentions: Randy Foye (appeared to be out of the rotation by Donovan’s gameplan, but played serviceable while the world burned) and Andre Miller (may have hit his last career three-pointer).
Dishonorable mentions: Kyle Singler (told you so), Nick Collison (his playoffs should probably be over), and Nazr Mohammed (no magical Perkins motivational power, apparently), and Kevin Martin (a.k.a. the Ghost of Thunder Postseasons Past).