The Margin: Oklahoma City Thunder 102, San Antonio Spurs 82


We hope by now you know how it goes when we decide to do the margin. One talking point for every point differential in the final score. I didn’t feel like doing an El Conclusion tonight, so here we go.

  • Tim Duncan had only two rebounds. As Aaron McGuire noted in our postgame show, Duncan has been shooting terribly against the Thunder all season, but his rebounding can’t be so bad. It has to be better in Game 4.
  • It was expected that the Thunder would come out with the energy that they did, but it’s on the Spurs to make the plays over the course of the game to bring them back down. That didn’t happen.
  • The Spurs lost the second quarter 32-17. They were within striking distance in every other quarter, but that second quarter gave the Thunder an advantage the Spurs were never able to close in on.
  • Milk carton: Danny Green
  • Tim Duncan became the all-time playoff shot blocking leader, overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Although, as many noted on Twitter, the NBA didn’t start officially recognizing blocked shots until 41 games into Kareem’s playoff career. The Spurs just couldn’t get any positive momentum tonight.
  • Nothing sums up the night better than this.
  • Boris Diaw had an extremely limited impact on Game 3. Honestly, I’m not completely sure why. I’ll have to watch the game to get a closer look, but the fact that I don’t remember when he was in the game and when he wasn’t usually isn’t a good sign.
  • Despite how bad it looked, the Spurs don’t need to shake things up. Simple adjustments and an improved effort should be enough to beat the Thunder. You don’t make wholesale changes to a team that just won 20 games in a row.
  • That includes playing DeJuan Blair. There were many problems in Game 3 and DeJuan Blair is the solution to none of them.
  • It is a concern that the Spurs shot over 40% from 3-point range and the Thunder shot less than 30%, and OKC still won.
  • The Thunder made their living shooting inside, outscoring the Spurs 44-24 in the paint. I’m sure many people will give you that stat tonight and tomorrow. It was kind of important considering how the Spurs made their living over the previous 20 games.
  • The Spurs had a OffRtg of 89.5 and a DefRtg of 111.5. These are both terrible numbers. To me, they’re signs of being completely outplayed in one game, not necessarily something systemic that the Thunder have figured out. (Stats courtesy of
  • That said, Gregg Popovich and Co. need to figure out how to free Tony Parker from Thabo Sefalosha and give Tony some driving and passing lanes.
  • The Thunder hoisted 12 more shots than the Spurs did. This was in part due to the 21 turnovers the Spurs committed. I’ve said before that the Spurs’ offense can be prone to stretches of turnovers because of its necessary timing and spacing. Just a few fewer turnovers and handful more shots could’ve made this game more competitive going into the fourth quarter.
  • Because the Spurs rely on so many young role players, they’re subject to more fluctation in performance than we may remember from past title teams. Those teams relied heavily on veteran players like Robert Horry, Steve Kerr and Kevin Willis. So you can excuse Kawhi Leonard’s 15 minutes tonight (he did get six rebounds, however) and Gary Neal’s 3-11 shooting. They need to bounce back in Game 4.
  • I’m trying to think of a single play where the Spurs ran a pick-and-roll with Tiago Splitter to perfect execution. I got nothing.
  • No stretches of sending Tiago Splitter to the line intentionally, but with the way the Thunder were rolling there was no need to.
  • I don’t expect to see any major changes in Game 4, just better effort.
  • Stephen Jackson shot the ball well but had four turnovers. I was kind of curious why he didn’t guard Kevin Durant as much in Game 3 as he did in Game 1. Danny Green spent a lot of time on KD when Kawhi Leonard was out of the game.
  • I’m feeling like the Spurs win a very close Game 4. It could be the game this series is defined and remembered by.
  • Titletown99030507d

    Everybody stunk after such a great game they played just 48 hrs prior. But let me drive 2 points home even though that wasn’t the entire reason why they lost. 

    After 3 games in this series Bonner has averaged only a little over 1 pt per game and 3 rebounds per game and at this point I don’t think the Thunder are shaking in their sneakers when Bonner has the ball in his hands. What gives with winter shoes.

    What are the Spurs going to do about Sefolosha and Is Parker shut down for the remainder of the playoffs? The coach of the year better find another word other than nasty to remedy this situation.  


  • NYC

    1) Bonner is Bonner. You shouldn’t expect too much of him. He only got extended minutes tonight because we were in such a hole that Pop decided to wave the towel. Diaw seemed to get in foul trouble early, giving Splitter more minutes, but then Splitter wasn’t doing so hot either. Enter Bonner. When I saw James Anderson and Dejuan Blair on the floor, I knew the game was over. What I don’t like is the fact that Bonner isn’t even shooting 3s. I’m not sure if this is because we’ve acquired so many other 3pt shooters (see this article from ) or because Bonner is being chased off the arc. I’m hoping it’s because we have so many 3pt shooters that Bonner isn’t getting as many opportunities, but I agree w you that while he is on the floor, his value is neutralized if he isn’t a creditable 3pt threat. Make or miss, he needs to be shooting those 3s.

    2) Oh don’t overreact. Parker isn’t going to be shut down the rest of the playoffs because he had one crappy night. If anything, this season has shown that he will come back the next game with a vengeance. Nobody ever suggests Manu will stink for the rest of the playoffs just because he has bad nights (which he has had plenty), so why should it be any different for Parker? Sheesh. Double standards much? 

  • Bob

    It’s like the Spurs and Thunder changed roles for a day. The Thunder had the ball movement and good offense while the Spurs were trying to do to much one-on-one.

    I don’t believe playing DeJuan Blair solves anything. If anything more minutes for Diaw and Splitter or more smallball makes more sense. The Spurs encountered some of the same aggressive defense on Parker. One thing that worked was passing to Diaw and allowing him to be a secondary playmaker.

  • NYC

    Bottom line: we lost this game because they shut down both Parker and Manu. When Parker or Manu (the two best creators on the team) are rolling, life is easy for everyone on the team. All our young guys look like seasoned veterans. Tonight, we saw both frustrated by the Thunders defense and, consequently, everyone else looked bad as well. Our role players looked their parts because they are, after all, role players who look better than they are because of the team they play for and the particular stars and system they benefit from. Take away our stars and you have a pretty good bench that will be beaten every night by a superior OKC team. 

    The good news is that this can be easily fixed. The Thunder were ridiculous w their defense tonight. How many blocks and steals did they get? I lost count. They can’t possibly sustain that level for 4 straight games against the Spurs. We will make adjustments. All we need is for one creator (Parker or Manu) to have a good game + Timmy to do his usual thing + contributions from role players/bench = win. And all we need is 2 more wins. 

    Things just got interesting. In hindsight, this loss will probably be the turning point that cements our fifth championship. Kind of like that game against Dallas during the season when our bench almost brought us back. We ended up losing that game too but we learned so much more from losing than if had won. 

    We haven’t really faced much adversity so far. Utah (who barely snuck into the playoffs) and a hobbled Clippers team never really had a shot at containing our stars. This is the first team that has played elite defense against us. Miami will do the same, so I look at this as a dress rehearsal for the real show. This adversity is giving us a chance to figure out how to win when the other team actually has the capability to shut down our two creators. Once we figure it out, Miami doesn’t stand a chance. That thumb ring is ours. 

  • Tim in Surrey

    Re: your bottom line, perhaps. Another way of looking at it, though, is that Tim didn’t make them pay for shutting down Tony and Manu. You say tomato…

    More important, however, than any shutting down were the turnovers and defensive problems. That’s where we really need to step it back up.


    Take away our creators and what do you have…a glaring deficiency in this team’s low post ability.  Been that way all season.  Have to some way keep the Thunder honest in their all out focus on our perimeter game by becoming a better interior team.  Suggestions anyone?

  • Easy B

    Bang on about if you shut down the perimeter, you pressure the post…and Timmy isn’t a go to guy for long stretches anymore. OKC have rightfully exploited this weakness…I’m optimistic though. I think they are a game late, worst case scenario for spurs is a 3 game series with home court – the thunder must recreate that phenomenal effort again 48 hours later and hope the spurs can’t adjust.
    My friend is an OKC fan. He now is thinking a 7 game series. I say one blowout does not make a 7 game series, and I doubt/ challenge OKC to maintain that standard for the next 3 straight games.
    I think there are 4 or 5 spurs right now amping for an improved game 4. hopefully 2 of them will go off.
    My final thought is this: if they want to beat the thunder and heat, they need to learn how to counter this type of attack from the opposition – ie, analyze your weaknesses, and work to overcome them.
    One proposed solution: play them big when they get momentum- Ginobili, Kawhi, Jack, Split, Duncan. Manu, Jack and Kawhi switch on Westbrook, harden et al, spurs have size either side of the court and can double pick n roll with Manu, TD and Tiago. How do you defend that combo ? Jack can even post on a mismatch if the thunder counter small. Maybe Pop should play Blair 5-8 minutes to allow room for TS and TD to play together.
    Looks like Tim needs a few games with less minutes too.
    Green, Bonner and Neal need to hit some shots and all will be easier.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Why is there a Home Court Advantage? We are all told that there is, but why? This is not tennis where one slam is on grass, another on clay, etc. The only difference in the entire league is Denver at 5280 feet altitude. So why do most teams do so much better at home — in the playoffs especially?

    The answer is intimidation. Last night it was plain and simple the referees were intimidated. I think the Thunder still would have won game 3, don’t misunderstand me. They were desperate and they are a very good team – the 2nd best in the NBA. But they would not have won so comfortably. 

    All it takes is a different way of calling the game to swing from 110 points and 120 points in Games 1 and 2 for the Spurs to 82 points last night. (And please do not give me the changes OKC made. The played well, but the biggest change they made was to hold Manu and Tony on every play and not get whistled for it). I am concerned about what this says going forward…in this series and if there is a series with Miami or Boston. Will the refs have the courage to call the game in the face of 18,000 insane people threatening to kill them?

    Stick with me for a short story here. All of the thousands and thousands of games of basketball I played were pick up or intramural. The games I refereed were intramural. I never knew the feeling of walking into the other team’s gym or refereeing in a hostile environment. Sure the guys I played against wanted to win, but they never really wanted to hurt me. Same in the NBA, even those two thugs Perkins and Harden would not intentionally hurt someone – well not hurt them bad anyway. I did see Harden clearly try to take out Manu on that big 3-pointer at the end of game 2. Harden stomps HARD trying to get Manu after the shot but Manu landed and moved his foot immediately almost as if Harden had done this before.

    Usually it is not the players, it is the FANS that bring the level of unreasonable hatred. They would injure the Spurs if they could. The FANS cheer in the NFL when someone gets injured. They boo in the NBA when an opposing player is laying on the ground…the FANS are the crazy ones.

    I mentioned this briefly back in early April…I went to my first NBA game in person at the Boston Garden. Spurs versus Celtics, April 4th. I was so excited. I had purchased two very different seats when my brother-in-law wanted to go with me at the last minute. For the first half I sat in the upper, upper deck while my brother-in-law used the court side seat. The Spurs were rolling, up by about 20 at times – and the fans were busy drinking as fast as they could so I had a great time the first half! It was what I imagined. Two teams playing ball while thousands of us looked on and politely marveled at their talents. Like a slightly noisier tennis match. The focus was on the court and the players made their plays. I could even hear the squeak of occasional shoe.

    Second half I moved down to the court seat at the edge of the tunnel about 50 feet to the left of the Spurs bench. Things were louder immediately just based on the move. The sound was intensified court side. The fans around me were well lubed at that point on $8 beers. They were shouting hatred at the Spurs as well as comments about what they wanted to do to any woman they happened to see. Explicit, I was beyond appalled. I wanted some 1920s prohibition police raid to take place and see most of the 18,000 sleep it off in a cell overnight. If I were a woman I would have left immediately and have asked for a security escort to my car.

    Here is what was amazing, most of the people near court side did not seem to know most of the players – and I mean the Celtics as well. They were not ardent followers of the team, they simply knew the Celtics were in green and the Spurs in black and they hated anyone in a black jersey. The screamed at Spurs fans sitting politely in the crowd. They threatened them – us. Why? (Imagine how much worse it is in OKC where the fans probably know every Spur by name and hate them each personally). 

    Then the action started in the 2nd half. The Spurs slipped a little, the Celtics made a push and the crowd went berserk. What are these people missing in their lives I do not know, what hatreds do they harbor that they never get to express?, what is so disappointing about their lives? —  The Spurs might have been Al-Qaeda for the amount of hatred thrown their way. The noise got so loud so fast that I began to cover my ears. It was rock concert loud – only it was a sound of pure hatred. The Spurs were a little shocked by it. Team mates could not hear each other. The younger players especially seemed a little thrown off. 

    By halfway through the fourth quarter the game was very close and the noise was unbelievable. I covered my ears for nearly every second of actual game time. I no longer cared if the Spurs won, I just wanted the hatred to stop. The noise to stop. I felt like the hatred was directed at me. If I had been there alone I would have fled the stadium, but I waited for my brother-in-law who was in the seat way up high. The Spurs managed to pull out that victory and they learned a valuable lesson – win your road games by a wide margin. You must not give the crowd ANY hope or they will go insane. 

    Fast forward to Last Night in OKC. That crowd made the game that I endured in Boston seem polite. The hatred was astounding. There was nothing like that in San Antonio the first two games. I read a posting here about how you could hear Duncan shout “corner. corner” on a particularly beautiful play of game two. Games one and two were basketball, with enthusiastic but not insane fans. 

    Game 3 was not basketball. It was a mugging all made possible by the intimidation of those fans. These were young referees, I did not recognize the names. I am ashamed to admit it, but if you put me in the center of that court with those rabid people all around I might have trouble making the calls as well. Any call against the Thunder was met with pure hatred. Unlike the hatred I felt in Boston (not directed at me), this hatred was directed squarely at the officials and at the Spurs. And there was so much hatred…

    A few non-calls early and the entire complexion of the game changed. The announcers said “they sure are letting them play tonight” which is code for “we have a wrestling match.” Why does anyone want to watch that?

    I hope things are different in Game 4. I also hope the Spurs fans stay classy for game 5. No need to practice the same intimidation. Just give the Spurs a fair chance and they will not disappoint. I would rather have us lose the series then be associated with fans like those in Boston or OKC. I do not want they Thunder to be injured. I do not hate them. I just want to see each team play the best basketball they can and may the best team win!

    Go Spurs Go!

  • Daindamousone22

    I disagree its not necessarily a big change putting dejuan blair in the game in energy boosting moments when your team needs toughness.. answer this though how can matt bonner get consistent minutes despite contributing to little or nothing on the court in the playoffs but dejuan blair cant sniff five minutes of time other than garbage time..having bonner in the game doesn’t put fear in the thunder..

  • Daindamousone22

    They figured out our pick and roll so unless we get some lost post action.. Its going to be a long series

  • Tehowdon

    Are you serious?  You are complaining because the arena was loud?  Thank the lord you live in vermont.

  • Riggies

    Intimidation has nothing to do with it, the Spurs knew what to expect.  They simply didn’t bring it on a level to match the Thunder………

  • John T.

    I agree the series will not turn on either Blair or Bonner but clearly this is not the series for Bonner.  On defense he is having to do things he is not built to do (chase guys around screens and guard guys away from the paint) and on offense the Thunder (since they are in small lineups when Bonner checks in) just stick KD on him which creates two problems for the spurs.  One it lets KD rest on defense because he is not put in a position where he has to play physical defense and KD’s length and ability to close out completely take away the one element Bonner brings to the team, the ability to space the floor.  While Blair’s height is a disadvantage against the Lakers or Jazz I don’t think it plays as big a factor against the Thunder.  Usually the best defense of Bonner historically has been his amazing +/-, well he is -14 this series so I have yet to see a compelling reason to continue to use him for 20+ minutes a game.  It is bad enough that Duncan and Green are having trouble scoring and Neal is under a lot of pressure having to handle the ball, the Spurs just cannot afford to have Bonner’s dead weight out there.

  • Tyler

    Bonner is on the court to space the floor for Manu & TP. Regardless of whether he makes shots or not, the Thunder have to respect him. (IMO, he and Danny Green are due for a good game – you don’t shoot %’s they did over the course of a season, and then suddenly forget how to shoot.)

    Dejaun Blair on the court doesn’t help the Spurs. He brings one more body closer to the paint, maiking it harder for TP and Manu to get into the lane and create, and defensively, he’s undersized, undisciplined and can’t protect the rim. The last thing we need is more of Blair.

  • Bry

    There was nothing transcendent in this game. One team played poorly and the other very well. You add that up and it’s a loss. I think turnovers was the story. Every turnover energizes both the crowd and the young runner they have. Every time the Spurs turn it over, the Thunder replace another 20 seconds of fighting through hard screens long close-outs to good shooters with an easy fast-break showtime score. I’m not sure what Pop has to do, but they have GOT to stop turning the ball over. The live-ball turnovers KILLED us last night, on both ends of the floor. At one point the turned the ball over on four straight possessions.
             No, Timmy didn’t suddenly become an awful post-player (what is with so many people on this blog declaring Armageddon every time somebody has a bad game??). Yeah, he had a bad game. Of all the games in this series this one was the most likely to be a loss for the Spurs. But, I don’t think any major adjustments are necessary. A few tweaks could work, however. Bonner is not providing anything. Maybe he’s getting teammates open; I don’t know. But, as a rotational player, he’s provided jack-squat in three games and has had turnovers setting moving screens on more than one occasion. I’m also concerned with Green. You had a bunch of Spurs have bad game at the same time, and vice-versa for the Thunder. Duncan got fouled at least three times with no call. A couple of times Collinson obviously took his legs out and the third Perkins ‘blocked’ Timmy’s shooting arm. No calls. So, I’d expect a lot of those things to change for next. Knowing Pop, there will be far fewer turnovers, fewer miss defensive assignments, and plays drawn up for Green and Timmy early. Man, it’s nice to watching Spurs games in June.

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  • km1141

    not worried about Tony.  He’ll come back and be huge again.  As for Manu, he’s always been so up and down and lately in this year’s playoffs he’s had more off games.  I’m more concerned about Tim Duncan and the role players like Danny Green.  

  • reptard

    Totally disagree.  Bonner may not have forgotten how to shoot, but he’s not dragging people out of the lane.  Blair runs a great pick and roll with Manu and even lengthy seflosha would have problems getting through his wide frame.  He’d be able to at least make his man work a little bit to keep him off the boards.  You go with the matchups. In the other series, Bonner did what he does dragging his defender out of the lane.  In this series, the big men the heat have are undersized spring boards, kinda like a certain Mr. Blair who hasn’t lived on a Downing St. The dude did start what 60 games? And it’s obvious he didn’t forget how to play.  He’s not undisciplined on defense, just undersized and this series that won’t kill us. Also he’s a rebounding fiend, so he’s got that going for him.

    I I’m not saying that the spurs will win or lose this series based on whether or not Blair plays, but I will agree with John that he does match up better in this series.  I don’t think it would hurt the Spurs to see him in the game.  

  • John T.

     It is possible Blair doesn’t help…but Bonner is actually hurting the
    Spurs (unintentional).  Every Spurs fan understands he is there to spread the floor but
    that is my point he isn’t because the time he is on the court coincides
    with the Thunder running the small lineup with Kevin Durant covering
    him.  I can understand the argument against Blair when facing Lob City, or court time with Splitter,
    and the seven footers of the Lakers or Jazz, but he has an excellent
    pick and roll dynamic with Manu, historically he has performed well against OKC, and the guy finds a way to get high
    percentage shots.  Plus if he did draw a guy in the paint how is that
    not also creating space it is pretty much what Diaw does when he is out there why not continue that with Blair.

  • Tyler

    Good point about KD at the 4. Maybe a better option would be Leonard/Jackson at the 4 in that situation, instead of Bonner or Blair. 

    My main point was that Blair does very little to help our penetrate-and-kick style of play (unless he’s at the 5, in which case I’d rather have TD or Splitter on the court) while also being a pretty bad option defensively. Blair isn’t a deterrent at the rim and constantly reaches instead of playing defense with his feet. 

    Also, Diaw is a threat from the perimeter, whereas you encourage Blair to shoot jumpers if you’re the Thunder.

    Again, I just don’t see Blair as a better option than what we’ve been using.

  • Tyler

    One other point I forgot to mention. There were a few possessions where Bonner was guarding Fisher. If the Spurs can get away with that, they could in essence, go with a small ball lineup (a SF guarding the Thunder 4, presumably Durant), yet still have a size advantage – you still have a 4 in Bonner and a 5 in Splitter/TD to help rebound. It’s going small without really going small if that makes sense….I guess that would be called going big??

    Either way, it would only be for a few possessions most likely.

  • Tyler

    “They were shouting hatred at the Spurs as well as comments about what they wanted to do to any woman they happened to see. 
    Explicit, I was beyond appalled……
    If I were a woman I would have left immediately and have asked for a security escort to my car.”
    Apparently you haven’t been to a NASCAR race…..It will give you unique perspective on your fellow man.

  • Wannabe_fake_tough_guy

    I think VS was talking about the refs being intimidated.

  • Carl D

    First of all, of all the comments about this game, you are the first to indicate the officials had anything to do with the outcome.  Second, where do you get the “Any call against the Thunder was met with pure hatred?”  Were you in the arena?   You need to attend a few more games.

  • Wannabe_fake_tough_guy

    Dude, I hear what you’re saying, but…good thing you never went to a game in the Hemisfair Arena.  Now that place was LOUD and INTIMIDATING.  There are a ton of stories, but what I remember best was a group of fans who would wait over the tunnel leading to the visitor locker room.  A number of them would try to pour beverages on the opposing players (or spit!), and when they were successful, they’d all high five each other.  This one time, they got Larry Bird, but good.  The only thing that stopped Bird from going after them was that they were 20 feet above him over the entrance (and he had 3-4 teammates pulling him away).  And I won’t even mention the old “Baseline Bums” antics.  Fact is, MOST home arenas are like this.  The players “should” be used to it, and that’s why they normally only use the most experienced refs for the playoffs.  Not saying the refs never get intimidated, lol.

  • titletown99030507d

    One point one it’s just that if there’s a breathing body on the floor averaging 1.3 points a game and 3 rebounds that’s not good enough.

    On the second point they are not going to let off Sef on Parker and he’s a big guy for Parker to able to penetrate on him. That is worrisome. They may have found their answer to Parker and if so having another man (Bonner) on the floor not contributing on the offensive side is also worrisome. 

  • ThatBigGuy

    This game was pure energy/urgency by the Thunder. The Spurs will have a gameplan to get Tony and Manu into the lane, which will open the offense back up.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I’m not sure about that. And I don’t pay attention to what Taylor says on the ticket. Point is DeJuan is crafty enough to get to the rim unguarded and can block shots and get his rebounds. As much as I criticized his minutes during the regular season at this point he’s could be a welcomed addition to this series because Bonner has practically disappeared again these playoffs. What good is he if he keeps passing up shots. Something has to change in the Bonner situation. That is one of the silent keys here to this series.

  • Tiltletown99030507d

    If Bonner is making threes like nobody’s business then that frees up the cluster f#$k in the middle some. And that helps.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Not only did the turnovers definitely kill us but they slowed the game down to a half court style of play and we will loose if they continue to do this. The arc shooters need to be knocking down shots in order to give the core3 some help and it definitely frees the lane.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Make shots and that disappears.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I agree EasyB, That’s why I lobbied for TS to get lots of minutes with Timmy during the regular season to get acclimated with that type of line up especially when Diaw came on board. Diaw and Bonner could have shared a brief moment on the court as well as Blair with Diaw. Hell even Blair and Bonner if I knew TS and TD were going to have quality time together. But know if we do this it would be out of desperation and unproven lineup. The greatest coach the Spurs ever had should had envisioned this when Diaw came on board and actually acted on it.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Like Charles said they feed very well on the adrenaline the fans stimulate and to me the refs psychologically are affected by this and tend to lean toward that euphoria the home team and fans are feeling as in I want that feeling too. Getting gratification and acceptance from the home court with their actions. They probably aren’t aware they’re doing it. There should be a study. Really I’m not kidding.

  • Titletown99030507d


    That is the the truth. Bonner 1.3 pts per game and 3 rebounds per game in this series does not justify his presence on the floor. He ain’t spacing nothing if he doesn’t shoot let alone miss them all.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Blair did very well against this team during the season and for all purposes their team hasn’t changed. So I don’t get it. This should be the series Blair is expected to contribute.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I would say he’s loosing respect pretty fast right about now. He must have forgotten how to shoot towards that round iron with a hole in it because he’s just scared to even attempt a shot. Now whose respecting who now. It’s not because they are in his face he’s had plenty of opps to get off shots but instead defers to someone else. If your not going to attempt a shot when you have one then why be on the court. It’s not like he’s a better defensive player than an offensive player to stay on the court. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    Totally agree. I don’t want to lose this series. Just like Brooks made the adjustment with Sef on Parker Pop needs to throw a wrinkle in Brooks game by putting Blair in their with Manu and Timmy for a spell to shake things up. This is key. People may not agree but this worked against this team during the regular season and basically it’s still the same team they’re playing. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    Either they insert Blair in the lineup like they did for most of the season or put TS and TD for long stretches. Or both.
    That’s my take I’m sticking to it.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    I thank the universe every day that for the fact that I live in Vermont. Although Maine, Northern New Hampshire and the Adirondacks of New York are pretty great, too. Yes, tt is pretty quite here.
    I did not say that the arena was loud, I said it was intimidatingly loud, extremely loud, painfully loud. I thought of asking the security personnel and others in Boston if they wanted to bring a law suit for the hearing that they have already lost (and trust me they have). As for OKC you can hear on television how loud that place was last night. And everyone says it is one of the loudest. 

    I think in a reply below Titletown explained it better than I have. The refs want to be a part of these 18,000 people being happy. And if they make all the calls that could/should be made the fans won’t be happy. If OKC is putting forth and effort (which they were) and the fans are putting forth and effort and an expectation then why would the refs want to blow the whistle all the time and ruin it? Just because the Spurs are being pushed and held and fouled on most plays is not a reason to ruin everyone’s night.

  • Hassan

    With the thunder’s PnR switch we should have more ballhandlers in the game, I mean Parker, Neal, Ginobili and Jackson at times to switch eveything from strong side to weak side and continue more PnR with dribble hand offs at the 3-point line. also Spurs need to speed the game even more as we do better before the defense sets up… Go SPURS GO…

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    I have never been to a NASCAR race and personally would not attend. I suppose it is everyone’s right to choose but that is not for me. I have heard bad things about the JETS games and the Raiders. The only NFL game I ever went to was in Kansas City years ago and that was not too bad. I am not sure why sports and disrespecting women seem to go hand in hand. Can’t a woman go to a sporting event or work in the industry without being harassed? 

  • Sam

    I highly doubt OKC is that bad, and the Spurs have had experiences with crowds like this, last year’s Memphis crowd was in my opinion much worse than OKC.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    I did not say the outcome was the result of the officials. Actually  I said that I thought the Thunder would have won this one anyway. They made adjustments — they brought energy — they fed on their crowd — they are a very talented team. As the TNT guys said, you cannot match the desperation of being down 0-2 and knowing that if you lose this game it is all over. 
    So I think the Thunder win game 3 regardless. What I am concerned about is the whole idea that the road team is not supposed to win. That the crowd expects all of the calls and can influence the calls with their approval/ disapproval. I guess that professional sports remains entertainment and not simply the competition between two teams to see which is best. 

    I should have remembered this when many people picked the Spurs in 7 and there reason was not “The Spurs are a little better” but rather “They have home court advantage.” Why should that mean that they win? 

    Clearly I did not attend the game and would not care to do so. I would not attend the NBA Finals if the game was outside of San Antonio. It was clear from watching the game on TV what the responses were. Those fans were loud. The hatred I speak of is not so much particular comments – who can hear those anyway? But rather this wave of sound that comes from a dark place and that filled the arena any time the Spurs got a call. You know what hatred sounds like. 

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  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    The players are used to it and Manu and Tony would laugh at what I have written. In Europe the fans throw things!!!! Tony was saying that you get hit in the head with coins over there. So Tiago must be used to it as well. And Gary Neal. 

    I did not know those stories about the Hemisfair Arena. Am I being bamboozled by the coverage of the Spurs on TV? It appears as if it is a family crowd in the arena, with plenty of women children and older folks. It also seems to be pretty quite during the game play. You can even here the dribbling on TV. Please tell me I am right and the Spurs fans are enthusiastic but respectful. 

  • Tyler

    The Spurs played OKC 3 times in the regular season. Blair had one standout game, two pedestrian games. That’s a pretty small sample size. I have a hard time believing Blair will have success in this series based on 1 game during the regular season. Also, while the Thunder might be the same team, this isn’t the same Spurs team. We are much more dynamic with the addition of Diaw. 

    Just simply look at what the Spurs do – PnR and penetrate and kick. How does Blair excel at either? Obviously he’s not shooting perimeter jumpers. And if you expect him to be the screener, you would much rather have TD, Splitter or Diaw in that position. Additionally, all three are better passers.

    Simply put, Blair is an energy/hustle player, nothing more. He’s a great guy to have during the regular season to soak up minutes, but he’s a classic example of what happens when coaches shorten rotations in the playoffs.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Your post is so much better than mine and yours is only 4 lines long. This is really what I meant. Not that games are fixed but that everyone wants to be a part of the “euphoria” including the officials. 

    Is there any other way to explain why the visiting team is basically never predicted to win a game in a close series? This is not the old Boston Garden with the dead spots in the floor. There should be no local knowledge. This whole “home court advantage” thing must stem from somewhere and I think it is this intimidation/ euphoria thing.

    Is this why that game in Sacramento years ago when the Lakers got all of those calls is so startling? The team that got completely screwed was the home team. I guess the Lakers are a sort of permanent home team in the NBA.

  • Tessa

    Bonner’s also a brutal 1 of 7 from behind the arc for the series, which is pretty choketastic.

  • Tyler

    Agreed. No major changes needed. Keep doing what got us here. Grind it out.

    The Thunder are a fantastic team (the 2nd best in the league IMO). It doesn’t surprise me that they played well and got a win. The Spurs weren’t going undefeated this playoffs.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Those non-calls extended to many other situations – I counted 3 “blocks” that were all goal tends. Parker was pushed quite a bit and Manu was being held without the ball. It only takes a few of these things to completely change the character of the game. 

    Of those 21 turnovers, 5-7 were actually fouls.