El Conclusion: Oklahoma City Thunder 111, San Antonio Spurs 105

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Oklahoma City Thunder 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, PF Shot Chart 33 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-6 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -10

Duncan’s night was solid, but his struggles at the free throw line against the Thunder made his performance feel worse than it was.

Kawhi Leonard, SF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -2

This is the season where all the metacarpals break.

Jeff Ayres, C Shot Chart 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -6

Not much of an impact from Ayres in this one. He set solid screens, but had a dunk blocked by Thabo Sefalosha and fumbled another pass from Tony Parker. He did the subtle things well but botched the easily-seen ones.

Tony Parker, PG Shot Chart 39 MIN | 14-22 FG | 8-8 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 37 PTS | -2

He was good. He should be an All-Star.

Marco Belinelli, SG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | -6

Considering the task he was given in the second half, helping out defending Kevin Durant when Leonard left, Belinelli performed admirably. Admirably wasn’t enough, however.

Matt Bonner, PF Shot Chart 7 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6

Didn’t make an appearance until the second half and made little impact when he did enter the game.

Boris Diaw, PF Shot Chart 32 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +13

With Leonard out, guess who gets the pleasure of defending LeBron on Sunday?

Cory Joseph, PG Shot Chart 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -9

CoJo also received some time on Kevin Durant, starting the second half in place of Leonard. It’s not an ideal matchup for the Spurs, that’s for sure.

Patty Mills, PG Shot Chart 15 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -2

Party Mills hit the big 3s to keep the Spurs alive, but his impact was fairly minor outside of those shots.

Manu Ginobili, SG Shot Chart 27 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | 0

A decent performance from Ginobili, especially considering he was another who spent time acting as a minor speed bump for Kevin Durant, but his 3-point shooting was lacking and he caught the same free throw yips as Tim Duncan.

  • I need more cowbell

    Manu shouldnt be the main ball handler for the bench.
    He commits to many turnovers and isnt really a threat to get to the paint anymore. (3-ball is bad too)
    Give the ball to joseph or Mills and let them create their own shot.
    Also man this team needs a big guy who can get rebounds. Ayres sucks and timmy isnt himself anymore. Everynight i feel like our guys get boxed out by taller more athletic bigs.
    Seriously we cant even get defensive rebounds. Thats embarrassing.

  • The Beat Counselor

    I thought the pass that Ayres fumbled was a bit low for him to catch (bounce pass under the rim, right)?

    Otherwise, good read as usual…must be hard to relive the games so soon after a tough loss…

  • ThatBigGuy

    Ya, it bounced off his shin. That’s a tough catch for anyone.

  • Lee Baek Rok

    I don’t know about Manu, i am curious how consistent is he going to be in the long term.

  • NYC

    Spurs waive Malcolm Thomas, call up Othyus Jeffers from D-League.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/marc-stein/post/_/id/1275/spurs-target-othyus-jeffers-for-10-day-deal

    I remember him being in training camp and not much else. What’s the read on this guy, folks?

  • Filemon

    There are no excuses this time. Third loss to Oklahoma. No Westbrook. Playing home. Oklahoma playing back-to-back.

    We have injuries, sure, but every team has. I think the team is not as good as we would like to believe. Sometimes, specially against the best teams, we need a superstar game from some players. This time Tony Parker delivered, but how many times has he scored something like 30 pts 5 assts? In recent years I saw TP as a clear all-star scoring and assisting at will, but this year i haven’t seen a monster game from him. Yeah we have the system and all that, but starpower has to be fought with starpower.
    Timmy is good, a legend, but he cannot turn the tides anymore. Same for Manu, sometimes he can carry the game on his shoulders, but at this point is more of a surprise.

    Plus, there is the psychological issue of not being able to win against good teams. We can inflate the statistics crushing the bottom teams, but i don’t expect much of the game against the heat, and then Houston (another team with already 2 wins over SA)

  • Tyler

    The Spurs are third in Defensive rebound rate…..And Manu has been fine. His numbers are actually a little better than last year’s and he’s turning the ball over less than last year.

  • Mac Mac

    Boris, Marco, and Patty have each been a pleasant surprise this season, but they are role-players. Most fans knew we needed an impact free agent, whether Andre Iguodala, Paul Millsap, or AK47. But the Spurs went with the status quo, coming back older. It’s no surprise that this team is struggling against the best athletic teams. Let’s just hope that the guys are very healthy when they make their playoff run, that Manu’s play doesn’t taper off, and that Tim and Danny play better than we’ve seen from them so far.

  • Tyler

    Considering they’re missing three of their top four defensive players against a top 3 team, this result shouldn’t be too surprising. Take three starters from any team in the league and they’re going to suffer.

  • lvmainman

    Failed to rate Popovich because he deserved an F?
    Going small, then playing zone on 4 out of bounds plays in the 2nd half? 3 layups made and an uncontested 3 pt shot that went in. Then, having Ginobili/Belinelli guarding Durant in the 4th and holding him to 1 for 6, then having Parker guard Durant, 3 point make – down 7, then having Joseph guard Durant, 3 point make – down 10, all the while Ginobili and Belinelli were on the court!!!! How dumb was that?
    Now the Spurs kick an athletic mobile player like Thomas that blocked 2 shots and probably been able to hang with Durant for a 3/4 minute stretch, to the curb for a lame player like Jeffers, seriously??

  • moneyball

    Losing to teams such as OKC, Houston and Portland highlights to me that we lack defensive depth on the wing. As rosters stand now, if we match up against OKC in the playoffs, they can play a lineup of Jackson, Westbrook, Thefalosha, Durant and Ibaka, and we would counter with Parker, Ginobili, Green/Diaw, Leonard and Duncan.
    With the exception of the scenario of Leonard guarding Thefalosha, we lose the athleticism battle at every position. Apart from Parker, there is no real mismatch, and OKC’s lineup has the athletes to switch effectively to counter Tony.
    Then they out-bang us with a committee of Perkins, Adams and Collison vs Tiago, Ayres, with Baynes no getting the minutes or confidence that Adams has already at OKC.
    Mills vs Fisher is a wash, which leaves us with Belinelli to be a point of difference in the game.
    As we have seen, matching OKC in offense is a futile strategy because Durant is the most reliable finisher in the game, so the only way to beat them is to upset them on the defensive end.
    I just don’t see the spurs with the tools right now to do that.
    A healthy Josh Howard or similar defensive wing who can hit a 3 and get in someones face would really help if we need to get defensive for long stretches of the game.
    There is no simple solution to beating OKC. With Jackson’s emergence, they look like the team that beat the spurs 2 years ago.
    Maybe Kawhi and Danny should guard the perimeter players and hide Parker on Thabo as much as possible. I can’t see any other way to avoid a barrage of perimeter shots from Durant otherwise.

  • Graham

    ….wait……you are SERIOUS about the Thomas on Durant thing? Thomas isn’t going to help here.

    We were in this game when we had no right to be. Durant was unstoppable and we STILL forced a career high in TOs from him with a single Kawhi shift and a collection of Manu, CoJo and Marco.

    I absolutely would take CoJo on Durant at that point. At least the offense doesn’t suffer if he fouls out.

  • Graham

    That would be the ideal gameplan. Unfortunately we haven’t been fully healthy against them to try and implement it.

  • I need more cowbell

    Manu can’t guard anymore. He sometimes through sheer effort can do a good job but hes a liability.
    I would be fine with that if he was a real threat on the offensive end but he isn’t.
    He can’t carry the team anymore for a game or two.
    I might be wrong about the defense but when we play OKC or the blazers it seems like where undermatched at every position.

  • I need more cowbell

    Agree with Mac. Every other team in the west got better this year except the spurs.
    No excuses for losing to all the top tier teams. Were not the heat. We dont have lebron or KD to carry us when it matters.

  • I need more cowbell

    I think the reason we almost always beat the bad teams is because of pops coaching and the system he put in place. For that i give him major props. I can’t see many other coaches getting as many wins he does out of a roster like this.

    Great players can beat great coaching on some games. Now over the course of a 7 game series better coaching should win out but with our aging roster our margin of error is extremely small.

  • Lee Baek Rok

    Is he going to be an offensive threat? He had a bad season last year. I would give him more time to develop consistency. He is kind of up and down now.

  • Lee Baek Rok

    Since don’t beat the good teams at least the Spurs are a diverse team during the injury bug. It’s fuun to see new faces and the game will be more competitive against weaker teams and we still make the playoffs.

  • Lee Baek Rok

    Marco is an upgrade compared to Neal. The Spurs aklso had a 4 day trip wasted. I think they are really starting to play well against teh beter teams. there were a ton of pieces missing to counterbalance Westbrook’s absence.

  • I need more cowbell

    I agree. Another point is every shot he takes is one less for someone else like patty or bellineli. Who have way higher 3-point percentages.

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  • Graham

    That’s exactly why I think we shouldn’t freak out over these losses. A 7 game series is a completely different animal than a meeting in the regular season. As long as we are healthy come playoff time we should be plenty equipped to get to the WCF at the very least, barring an unfortunate match-up with OKC in the semis due to seeding or something. Houston and LAC are manageable once you get a specific gameplan in store (not to mention Houston’s so feast or famine they are as likely to shoot themselves out of a game as in it). Portland reminds me of Golden State last year: on paper they are poison to us but Playoff grit should carry us through once it gets very dicey. Golden State is maybe the one team we have ‘figured out’.

    Obviously the Thunder are a harsh matchup for us, but I think if we ARE fully Healthy, we have the pieces needed to beat them. Ideally we end up losing the last one against them whilst they lose both games to the Heat. Already the Thunder (fans, at least) feel they ‘have us figured out’ and are overlooking us again. That could be key to letting us snag a game or maybe two in a series.

  • Lee Baek Rok

    Is Patty more consistent? He sometimes shoots the lights out and sometimes just makes a couple. I know he has limited time on the floor but i don’t recall him being consistent yet. Als Gino is historically wery efficient when he drives at the basket and he had no lost a whole lot of speed and agility.