Corporate Knowledge: Game 3 Fallout

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Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie: “Tim Duncan missed 10 of 15 shots and had just two rebounds (OLD) but blocked five shots (NOT OLD) and mainly clanged all those looks because he was forced into a few bailout shots from the perimeter at the end of the shot clock. Kendrick Perkins also played some terrific defense on the Spurs center, but he was forced into isolation that just isn’t San Antonio’s forte despite the team’s brilliant offense. Probably because the isolation offense isn’t their “brilliant offense.” Gary Neal and Manu Ginobili won’t attempt to break OKC down by their lonesome again in Game 4, which means they’re not likely to miss 12 of 16 shots as they did on Thursday night. Twenty-one turnovers, sorry Oklahoma City, just won’t happen again — though we enjoyed a desperate Thunder team taking chances.”

Paul Garcia of Project Spurs: “The Thunder were the aggressors from the get-go as they started the game with an 8-0 run in the first three minutes. The Spurs, influenced by the Thunder’s defense were once again their own enemy, as they had turned the ball over three times in the those first three minutes. Anytime Parker tried to use a screen, Sefolosha would stick his hands in the play and force Parker into a bad pass or turnover. The Spurs bounced back with a 13-4 run to take the lead 13-12 with 5:16 left in the first. When the quarter ended, the Spurs led 24-22 after turning the ball over seven times. 24-points would be the most points the Spurs would score in a quarter the rest of the way.”

Kevin Arnovitz at TrueHoop: “Sefolosha isn’t the offensive equal of any of the marquee names on the Oklahoma City roster, and he’s probably not a plus offensive player in the NBA. But does Oklahoma City strike you as a team that needs secondary offensive players to eat up possessions that belong to Kevin Durant,Russell Westbrook and James Harden? If ever a team had the capacity to absorb the presence of a non shot-creating defender, the Thunder are it. Go ahead and cash in!”

Johnny Ludden of Yahoo! Sports: “Somewhere among the din of Thursday night, the Thunder rediscovered their identity. They fed off the roar of their fans, played to the emotion of the moment and smothered those mighty San Antonio Spurs in a thicket of long arms and legs. They ran relentlessly and defended for four quarters, emerging with a 102-82 victory that gave the Spurs their first loss in 50 days and 21 games. The Thunder cut their deficit in these Western Conference finals to 2-1 and, in doing so, learned something else about themselves: They’re good enough to win this series.”

John Hollinger at ESPN.com (Insider): “The Spurs had an absurd stretch in which they won 20 in a row, 34 of 37 and, most insanely, 24 of 27 on the road. No team keeps playing that well forever, and when the Spurs finally stopped, they fell hard. Averaging barely 0.9 points per possession with 21 turnovers in Game 3, the Spurs didn’t just regress to the mean — they went all the way through it and out the other side.”

Rob Mahoney at the Off The Dribble Blog: “Parker was (and is) the dynamo who has come to define the new-look Spurs, an outfit as mechanically devastating as the teams Tim Duncan once carried on his back, but with an unmistakable fluidity and a certain joie de vivre. San Antonio hadn’t lost a game since April 11, and although that’s really a testament to a robust rotation and system, Gregg Popovich’s schemes were retrofitted to Parker’s particular strengths.”

Royce Young at Daily Thunder: “It was really the only way the Thunder could probably resurrect themselves in this series. When you’re playing a team that’s seemingly invincible like the Spurs, blowing them out is the best way to go. Especially when you’re one loss away from seeing your season basically die. Avoiding crucial halfcourt possessions trying to stop Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan was very wise.”

Steve Perrin at SB Nation: “If you’re thinking that this game represents a real and permanent change in the outlook for this series, it probably doesn’t. The Spurs aren’t likely to play this badly again, and it’s a pretty good bet that they’ll come out with a renewed sense of purpose in Game 4 and start a new winning streak. San Antonio was due for a bad game at some point, and this was it.”

Alex Dewey at Gothic Ginobili: “This team is not forever, yet. After all, last night hinted at a dark possibility. They can be, but they aren’t yet there. This team is mortal — they bleed, too. To make presumptions, as a fan, is to be taken by surprised and bleed right with them. But even as they lie, bleeding in the corner like a boxer who wasn’t expecting the perfect counter, I can’t focus on that right now. I can only focus on what I know, and the things about this team I know I’ll never forget. Tiago taking over the fourth, the senseless carving-up of the weaker teams (28 in total), the faint praise for Richard Jefferson, the backhanded compliments everyone gave Stephen Jackson, the passing and drives of Boris Diaw, the ridiculous enthusiasm of Patty Mills, Matt Bonner receiving a transdimensional warning from 45 light-years away and calling up to the president without hesitation, Gary Neal’s limited handle and limitless self-confidence. S-Jax – swiftly upon return – guarding Dirk as it was written and as it shall be done.”

  • NoA

    No way that the Spurs play that bad. It was about what OKC did but what SA didn’t do that they did in the other games. Spurs bounce back and win in 5.

  • AsGoodAs

    I’m worried. Really.

  • KevinWarren

    SA wins one more at home.  Thunder in 7

  • Tyler

    I’m shocked so many writers have essentially handed the series to SA even after last night’s loss. It’s a lot of “Sure, the Thunder played well, but the Spurs are by far the better team…” While I think the Spurs are the better team, it’s not by much IMO. This Thunder team is talented, young, hungry, and playing at home. If a few things break their way, they have the ability to win 3 more. 

    This is a one game series now – a Spurs win and it’s (essentially) over. A Thunder win and you have the makings of a seven game series.

  • A_BIRDY_TOLD_ME

    When I read the script the NBA  had OKC winning game three, San Antonio winning game four, and OKC is schedule to win game five. This was all the information I was able to get. I’m assuming that the rating will dictate the winner for the remaining games.

  • STIJL

    It’s the stamina of the elders against the athleticism of the youth.  The youth of the Thunder will have to play as they played in game 3 for the rest of the series to win this series.  The stamina of the Spurs elders will have to endure to prevent the outcome of game 3 from happening again to win this series.

     A truly epic battle lies in store for the rest of this series.  Home court advantage a huge plus as evidenced in these first 3 games.

  • Irontalon

    Its good for this team to get punched in the mouth like that, taste their own blood, so to speak. I worried they may be getting a bit complacent, and having a beatdown like that will serve to remind them how very dangerous this thunder team is. I still am not worried, since the Thunder were bound to win one of these games, and honestly if the Spurs were going to lose it was going to be one of these ‘wheels coming off’ losses.

    Trust the team to dissect last night with newfound intensity and determination and hopefully put these young guns on their heels tomorrow. Taking Game 4 will be soul crushing, especially if we make it either a Demolition or (more likely) a Game 1 style come from behind dismantling. I think the key will be to get in their heads and let doubt grab hold.

  • Ace Smith

    I agree what happened in game 3 is that the thunder finally played a good game and werent cold, They are a younger quicker and more talented team and they showed it in game 3 and it will continue in game 4 with a win! I wrote all about this on my site as well as how to bet the game so come by read and enjhoy! http://nbawagers.com/2012/06/can-anyone-say-2-in-a-row/

  • Bob

    Wait till game 4 first before panicking.

  • Lemonfuzz9

    How crap is it that the only actually objective reporting on SA’s loss is coming out of San Antonio? There is no way Sefolosha can stay on Parker now that Pop knows Brooks wants him reaching to disrupt the PnR. Duncan will not remain ineffective on the boards. 

  • theghostofjh

     You’re dreaming.

  • theghostofjh

    Agree. I still expect the Spurs to win in 7 or fewer, but they’re not going to give it to us.

  • theghostofjh

    What are you talking about?!?

  • theghostofjh

    think your basic theory has a lot of holes in it. Why don’t you take some time to see if you can cover them up.

  • Sam

    Wtf?

  • Gomezd

     There was a lot of gamble in OKC’s defence, Pop should be able to sploit that, make some changes seems like OKC did a lot of scouting and gambled a lot on where the pass was going to go, and it worked. Adjustments need to be made

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Thunder should win game 4. They expect to. Their fans expect it. Vegas expects it as the Thunder are favored by 3.5 points. Teamrankings.com gives the Thunder a 62% chance of winning tonight.

    If they are going to push this past 5 they need to win tonight…so A THUNDER WIN TONIGHT MEANS VERY LITTLE. Even though they do predict that the Thunder will win tonight, Teamrankings still gives the Thunder just a 23% chance of winning the series – nearly the same percentage chance they had before the series started. Right now there is a 13% chance that the Thunder win in 6 (a “backdoor sweep”) and just a 10% chance that they win in 7. 

    So if we go home to San Antonio tied 2-2, the Spurs still have a 70% + chance of winning the series.

    So Spurs fans, even if we lose tonight do not get concerned. Any normal team would lose tonight. But both games in San Antonio were comfortable wins (don’t let the margins fool you. In both cases my “up by 10 with 2 minutes to go” test was met. It is nearly impossible to lose if you are up by 10 with 2 minutes to go and in both games we were). So long as we win game 5 at home and go up 3-2 then the Spurs will win this series. Game 5 is the key not the game tonight. If the Spurs win tonight or on Monday night they will win this series. If the Thunder win both games 4 and 5 then they likely win. In other words whoever goes up 3-2 wins. And of course if the Spurs win game 4 to go up 3-1 then the series is over.

    So, for the Spurs, tonight is not about fear it is about opportunity. If the Spurs win tonight, with every thing against them, we once again know how special this team is. The crowd is with OKC, the expectation is that they will win at home, the close calls might go there way again, so if the Spurs do win it is pure glory. If they lose it mean little.

    On the other hand. If the Thunder lose tonight the series is over. It is very rare to come back from down 2-0. No one comes back from 3-1 down. So the fear is all on the Thunder side, believe me. And here is why: 

    Throughout the season OKC players made it clear that they needed home court in order to win a championship. I now see what they mean. They are 1-3 in their last 4 road games. They are 5-0 at home in the playoffs. The Spurs are 6-0 at home and 4-1 on the road. THE THUNDER MUST WIN AT HOME TONIGHT. THEY CANNOT TAKE 2 ROAD GAMES FROM THE SPURS.

    So no fear! Do what I will do and expect the Spurs to lose tonight and expect things to be like “Mad Max beyond Thunder Dome” in OKC. Pop expects the calls to go the other way. He expects the fans to be insane. And he is prepared to lose this game and still win the series.

    Go SPURS Go!

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    A little correction about the teamrankings odds of winning this series. At the start of the series it was Spurs 66% chance of winning and OKC 34% chance. Currently the odds are 76% chance that the Spurs win and 24% chance for OKC. 

    Basically once OKC did not win one of the first two games their odds dropped off. 

    Historically the team that is up 2-0 has a losing record in game 3!!  Win a team wins the first 2 at home and then goes on the road they are 83 – 130 all time for a 39% winning percentage in game 3. 

    So 6 out of 10 times you lose game 3 on the road. Especially against a good young motivated team with a great home record. So the Spurs could be expected to lose that game – and they did. 

    Yet the team that wins the first two at home wins the series 95% of the time. Over the years 213 teams have won the first two games of a series at home as the Spurs did. 11 of those teams lost and 202 won the series.

    The Spurs still have to play the games but they should win the series and any comeback from being down 0-2 requires some help. Like in 2006 when the Heat came back from 0-2 against Dallas. What happened? Well D-Wade of course and a little bit of Shaq…and has been noted in so many places the officiating changed abruptly as well. I just re-read the notes on that series and it was game 5 that stuck out the most. Wow. And Joey Crawford was one of the referees! 

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Here are the notes on the officials for tonight’s game. This is from Spurstalk

    Crew is Tim Mauer, James Capers, and Ed Malloy. * fairly inexperienced crew at this level (compare to Game 3 crew where each had worked at least 85 playoff games, including double-digit conference finals games). My general inclination is to believe that inexperience, combined with a hostile environment like OKC’s arena is a big benefit to the home team — officials are more likely to be carried away with the emotion of the crowd.* Malloy has had a very rough 2012 playoffs, but continues to work, which either suggests that the league hasn’t been swayed by the considerable criticism he’s faced — particularly for the calls in his two games in Miami — or has set up its schedule and won’t deviate from that, no matter how bad he’s been. Malloy is also a Joey Crawford disciple (they both attended the same high school in Philadelphia, though many years apart); I’ve long thought that he’s chosen to follow Joey’s style. * Mauer may have taken over for Steve Javie as the elite official you’d most want to have on the floor for a road playoff game; road teams consistently have their best winning percentages in games Mauer has called (7-4 in 2009, 6-7 in 2010, 5-4 in 2011, 4-7 in 2012). For whatever it’s worth, one of the Spurs’ conference finals wins in Mauer games is their win in Game 4 of the 2007 WCF at Utah, where Mauer, Javie, and Joe Derosa disregarded a crazy Utah crowd to continue to make correct calls, even if that meant they benefitted the Spurs.  

  • Jimbo

    I think that’s a bit of an overly rosy look.  The Thunder in the three games thus far dominated one and led another by 9 going into the 4th quarter (granted, their style on O leaves them vulnerable to bad 4th quarters).  They are a good team and will cause anyone problems.  I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, but I think a lot of pundits underestimated the Thunder in this series.

  • JW

    you must be really high!

  • Titletown99030507d

    San Antonio wins all of it’s home games.

  • KevinWarren

    lol