Corporate Knowledge: All tied up, but advantage OKC

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Sam Amick, USA Today: “The Spurs had talked endlessly after Game 3 about the need to be more aggressive, but halftime arrived with nary a fast-break point on their part (a shutout that continued in the second half). Instead, Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was the one coming at them with his one-of-a-kind fury, turning in a 40-point, 10-rebound, five-assist performance that was an all-timer in his already-accomplished career.”

Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: “Here comes one more telltale Game 5 for Duncan and Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Pop in these Western Conference finals. Here comes the roll call on nearly two decades of dramatic victories and dramatic defeats, from four NBA championships to Derek Fisher’s .4 shot in 2004 and Ray Allen’s corner 3-pointer in 2013, here comes one more moment of truth in the shadows of the Alamo.”

Fred Silva, Pounding the Rock: “OKC was incredibly aggressive in every aspect of the game. They won the 50/50 balls. They had more steals and blocks. They forced more turnovers and earned more free throws. Durant and Westbrook threw up huge numbers and were easily the best two players on the court tonight. They rattled the Spurs and Pop decided early that his guys just didn’t have it.”

J.A. Adande, ESPN: “At this point the only thing the San Antonio Spurs have going for them could be the one thing they never emphasized: home-court advantage. The Spurs can’t beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City. That’s fact, not hyperbole, as evidenced by a nine-game losing streak here that includes regular season and playoffs.”

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: “This is no longer a matter of simply asking Tony Parker to play better. It’s about finding a way for the Spurs to regain their poise and effectiveness against an OKC team that in the last two games has come at them like a rolling bundle of butcher knives.”

  • DJMP

    Winner of Game 5 takes the series IMO. If the Spurs are championship material, this is where they prove it. Time to exorcise the demons from two years ago threatening to run amok again. But, it’ll take everything they have. Feel the Spurs, and Pop, play things a bit too conservatively at times. Works against other teams but not this Thunder beast. I have faith though! GSG!

  • DorieStreet

    Clearly, it has become a towering obstacle for the Spurs to play in Oklahoma City–physically and mentally. They have lost in all manner of ways (playing close, but behind the whole game- not being able to forge ahead at the end; having control of the game with a sizable/big lead, but collapsing on both ends -usually during a 2nd-half quarter; or getting blown out early on, with increasing frequency results in the coach waving the white flag with significant time left in the game). And these losses are ALWAYS the result of 4 to 5 Spurs players — a couple of starters and a couple of reserves–having really bad performances at the same time — EVERY GAME. And this is from a franchise that makes the playoffs annually, with a veteran core along with young talent that has been on board a few seasons and knows the system. Yet, when the game tips off at Chesapeake Energy Arena, this same team performs as if they were composed of guys with just 3 year’s or less experience that was just put together for a single training camp, or an NBA postseason newbie that is super nervous about getting to and performing well at this stage.
    We all get it that the youth, athleticism, and basketball skills the Thunder possesses will just outright provide them with more victories than losses in their matchup with the Spurs. But that does not excuse the poor play San Antonio displays during significant minutes in each 48-minute contest.
    Here’s hoping that the Spurs get back into their earlier playoff form and take this series.

  • Joseph Dooley

    This is a de facto Finals with the 2 best teams in the League, but East Coast (Miami) bias trumps the heartland every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  • Tyler

    East coast bias? Or maybe it’s the fact that Miami has won two straight titles and possess easily the best player in the world?

  • Joseph Dooley

    Lebron bias, then. The fawning over Miami started 2 years before they won a championship.

  • tu-grad

    The Western Conference teams always beat the Eastern Conference teams during the regular season. That being the case and knowing Miami plays more Eastern Conference opponents during the regular season, if Miami were the best team all season, they’d have the best winning percentage for the regular season overall. They never do.
    The NBA is a business – most people that watch the NBA are not fully aware of the beauty of basketball and mostly just root for the players that are marketed most aggressively (i.e. Lebron, Wade, Griffin, Durant, CP3, etc.). The NBA makes much more money if one or two of these teams makes it to the finals. It’s just another hurdle for the Spurs and the Pacers to overcome on their way to a title. The NBA has shifted from the league of the best basketball players to a league of entertainers and fashion icons. I think the NBA should just completely change and just become a one-on-one competition so they’d be done with all this boring teamwork and be able to just promote their favorite players (sarcasm).
    Way to go Pacers last night and GSG tonight! Let’s bring some nasty and force the referees not to sit on their laurels.