El Conclusión: Oklahoma City Thunder 106, San Antonio Spurs 97
|Tim Duncan, PF 30 MIN | 7-17 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | -7
Tim was clearly better than any other Spurs starter. He didn’t shoot well and fumbled a few passes that mucked up a handful of possessions, but without him on the floor San Antonio was absolutely atrocious on the boards.
Duncan on court (30 min): Spurs grabbed 25.8 percent of available offensive boards, 69.6 percent of defensive rebounds.
Duncan on bench (18 min): Spurs grab 17.6 of available offensive rebounds, 52.9 percent of available defensive boards.
I expect Duncan to be in a better rhythm for Game 4, but the impact of Serge Ibaka was certainly felt on the block. Duncan kept it from being an all-out disaster on the glass, but he’s got to capitalize on a few more offensive opportunities, especially in Oklahoma City.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 31 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -13
Kawhi played pretty well defensively, and that left-handed dunk was straight up sexy, but he was just one of many Spurs who shot the ball terribly in this game. Let’s not get too carried away with any “sky is falling like it’s 2012” mentalities, because the Spurs missed a bunch of open shots, and Kawhi was one of the contributors to that. And one more thing: He’s got to be a bigger presence on the glass. That’s where this guy sets himself apart from other small forwards around the league, and San Antonio needed help in that capacity tonight. He’s got to be better in this series, because he’s the one counter the Spurs have to the Thunder’s youth and athleticism.
|Tiago Splitter, C 18 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -14
It felt like every little thing he did well was only flipped away with a bad shot, terrible pass, fumbled ball or any other sort of awkward turnover. Then again, that’s kind of life with Tiago. This wasn’t one of his good nights. He’s one of the players most affected by the presence of Ibaka, but he needs to have a much cooler head in Game 6, because the Spurs need a steady Tiago.
|Tony Parker, PG 28 MIN | 4-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | -12
What. The. F*ck. Was. That? One of the worst games I’ve ever seen Tony Parker play, and that’s not an exaggeration. He seemed completely overwhelmed. Everything was short when he got near the rim, he couldn’t find his shot in the mid-range, he tossed away some incredibly sloppy turnovers, and simply looked slow at times in this one. Just weird. The Spurs can’t win if Parker plays like that.
|Danny Green, SG 26 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -19
Another aspect of the Ibaka effect. With Serge on the back line, Thunder defenders were able to stick with Green for most of the night. The story is as old as time, but when you crowd him and make him put the ball on the ground he’s so much less effective. He hit a couple of 3-pointers early, so credit to OKC for slowing him down before it was too late. On the flip side, I thought he was OK defensively. The Thunder hit some shots in his face, but it’s difficult to tell who played good individual defense for San Antonio in this game, because they team as a whole was terrible on that side of the ball.
|Aron Baynes, PF 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +7
He’s getting some solid minutes; and while Baynes was solid early, he was pretty bad late in the game during garbage time. Not sure his grade matters. Still, the Spurs were decent while he was on the floor.
|Matt Bonner, PF 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8
Garbage time minutes. Tough to give the guy a grade. But I don’t care.
|Boris Diaw, PF 21 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | 0
Ugh. Boris had such a good, bad game. He made some amazing passes and put pressure on the Thunder when they went small, but he couldn’t hit an open shot. He had a lot of them, too. For a while there, those open misses were the difference in the game. If OKC is going to leave him like that out of pick-and-pop situations, he’s got to make them pay. I bet he’ll bounce back. You just don’t continue to miss when you’re that open.
|Jeff Ayres, C 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +7
Played decently in garbage time.
|Patty Mills, PG 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -5
Provided a little energy during some of those stagnant Parker stretches, and had a 3-pointer called back for what seemed to be an terrible offensive foul call that would’ve made it a six-point game. Thirty-four seconds later it was a 14-point game. He hasn’t been able to get his shot to fall consistently, and he’s been getting beat up a little on the defensive side of the ball. Still, I don’t think he’s playing poorly. This was one of those nights for everyone.
|Cory Joseph, PG 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-3 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +8
(copy/paste) Played decently in garbage time.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 24 MIN | 8-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 23 PTS | -6
Kept the team alive in the first half, but it was too much to overcome when things got out of hand in the second. Manu absolutely killed it over the first 24 minutes when nobody else was doing a damn thing, but in the end he needed more help. I thought he was awesome in this one, though. Hate wasting these types of Ginobili games, but it feels like he only performs like this when the rest of the team plays like crap. At least he kept them in it. Now, let’s just hope that foot is OK. He says it is.
|Marco Belinelli, SG 17 MIN | 1-2 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +1
Marco was fine. Actually had decent moments on defense, which is something. He’s still not getting free for any perimeter looks, which clearly a focus of the defense. I thought he was decently aggressive out of pick-and-rolls even if they didn’t amount to much. Whatever. Belinelli wasn’t the issue tonight.
Not sure what else he should’ve done.
Five Things We Saw
- The Spurs got destroyed on the boards, 52-36, and gave up 15 offensive rebounds, 10 of which came in the second half. This simply cannot happen against the Thunder.
- Worst of all, those offensive rebounds in the second half came after San Antonio actually started to play some decent defense. The Spurs defended like garbage in the first half, leading Popovich to call it one of their worst performances on that side of the ball all season long. So when they were able to buckle down after the break, those second-chance points were disastrous in a game that afforded just a tiny margin of error in the first place.
- Much will be made of Ibaka’s presence in this game, and rightfully so. He does make a big difference, even if it’s only mental. But the Spurs were just bad. They actually shot a better percentage from the floor when he was on the court (40.7) than they did when he was off (37.5). Diving a little deeper, San Antonio shot 40 percent from the arc when he was playing as opposed to 33.3 percent when he wasn’t. On top of it all, shooting percentage within the restricted area was identical, regardless of whether he was on the floor or not.
- You will hear the Ibaka narrative quite often over the next couple of days, but the fact is the Spurs missed what can only be quantified as a butt-load of open shots. Serge is a major factor, but not as much as it might seem on the surface given his slightly hobbled state.
- Spurs not named Manu Ginobili were 28-of-78 from the floor (35.9 percent), San Antonio was outrebounded by 16, missed countless open looks and endured one of the worst games we’ve ever seen from Tony Parker. This was as bad as the Spurs get, and they still had a chance as the fourth quarter rolled around. This thing is just getting good.