Spurs, Thunder Go Beyond The Stars





SAN ANTONIO – It is easy to get blinded by the gaudy numbers and caught up in the hype.

Thunder vs. Spurs will be “must-see-TV” because of the Big Threes – Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden vs. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

But by the time the high-octane, high-thrills, high-name-factor series is complete, the winner will likely be the team whose stars gets as much from what Michael Jordan used to call his “supporting cast.”

Would you believe the Western Conference finals hangs in the battle between Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha and Derek Fisher vs. Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal.

“We expect a lot of different players to change a playoff series,” said Duncan. “It’s going to come down not only to how the main guys play, but also how the role players play.”

The regular season numbers say OKC’s Big Three was the highest-scoring trio in the NBA this season, averaging more than 68 percent of the Thunder’s 103.1 points per game.

The Spurs were the league’s leading scorers at 103.7 points per game, but less than half (46.8 percent) of their production from their Big Three.

The truth is that the Spurs can probably survive a series where Durant, Westbrook and Harden all scorer at the season averages, as high as they may be, as long as Fisher doesn’t dip into the Fountain of Youth to resurrect his offense or the defensive-minded Sefolosha and Ibaka don’t explode.

On the other hand, the Thunder will have to guard against any number of off-Broadway type role players suddenly stepping into the main spotlight for San Antonio. Among the supporting cast, Neal leads the way with a 9.9 scoring average, but the Spurs also have seven other players who scored at a clip of at least 6.6 per game during the regular season. The Spurs’ bench production of 41.9 points per game was No. 1 in the league this season.

Green was the man of the hour in the Spurs sweep of the Clippers, scoring double figures in three out of four games, shooting 18-for-32 from the field and hitting 11 of 23 on 3-pointers.

So far in the playoffs, the Thunder have run up an 8-1 record with Ibaka topping out at 9.8 points a game, followed by Fisher at 6.0 and Sefolosha at 3.9.

So the stars will be out in force and they’ll do plenty of shining before the series is through. But the team that survives will be the one that gets more out of the rest of the roster.

61 Comments

  1. elite palm says:

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    your site is very informative. thank you

  2. Dennis - Bulls Fan says:

    Spurs.

    OKC doesnt have the factor. If OKC win, it will be a lucky.

    Spurs in 4. They will simply not give OKC a chance to breath, as a smarter, more talented team.

  3. mtho13 says:

    So tired of hearing spurs can’t win it all! Stop hating..let us wait who wins then start hating! SPURS in 4!

  4. sctx says:

    “I want some nasty”….something we haven’t seen in SA since the Rodman circus in town….add nasty to some of the best fundamental team ball ever to hit the court and it’s just too much for the Thunder to deal with…. Westbrooks head explodes in Game 2, Spurs take it in 5

  5. vincreations says:

    SPURS WILL SWEEP THE THUNDER

  6. Rhedz says:

    I like durant, fisher and harden…I do like duncan, parker and ginobili too so it’s hard to pick side here…But you gotta give OKC some credit for their starting five. Spurs on the other hand is a well balanced team, So to say this series could be called the clash of the titans or the fast vs. the furious…Fast being the fresh legs OKC and the furious being the spurs.

    Titans being the Spurs and the olympians being the OKC…

    One things for sure…This playoff series will be intense and very much interesting.

    Goodluck to both teams…

    Sincerely Yours
    SOLID “HEAT” FAN !!!

    Ps: Check it out..Big 3s of the playoffs…

    James, Bosh, wade
    Duncan, Ginobili, Parker
    Durant, Westbrook, Harden
    Garnet, Pierce,Allen

  7. x-writer says:

    maimi will lose also so celtics -spurs,

  8. x-writer says:

    thunder will lose in 4,sorry but who knows maybe the ref will help them, we will see

  9. roselyn says:

    thunders in game 6

  10. MLM says:

    spurs will going to swip the okc..spurs in game 4….lol

  11. wave says:

    spurs will going to swip the okc..spurs at game 4….lol

  12. Spurts says:

    Manu is the man! Spurs took game 1 baby.

  13. uoykcuf says:

    same here, Much love for the spurs, but really want to see OKC and miami face off.

  14. Tyroneous says:

    Can’t call it. Just wanna Blog with Ya!

  15. Ryan B. says:

    I think the Spurs will win the series but I would love to see Kevin Durant and Lebron James face off in the finals.

  16. Jamie from SA says:

    El Jefe, The Spurs in 6

  17. ben tooth says:

    spurs in 7!

  18. Spurs Fans will be dissapointed says:

    I have closely followed all the playoff games, and I feel sorry for the Spurs fans this series. Thunder are too good this year with the best bench in the league. I know Lakers are old but Dallas were defending champs!! I give Spurs 2 wins at the most! Sorry Spurs fans, not your year!

  19. dominateOKC says:

    tight D.. is the main key to win the west conf. final.. OKC Thunder…

  20. KLF says:

    Sorry Thunder this is where your great season ends, Not a spurs fan at all, but this team is on a roll and NOBODY will be able to stop them
    Spurs in 5

  21. LD says:

    Big tough series. I give the experience and efficiency edge to the spurs. However, I give young legs, speed, athleticism and height mismatches on namely Kevin Durant to the thunder. I like the complete team aspect of the spur but I feel like it is now time for the thunder to come to the floor. They have show they can close games out. Harden has Neal and Green on defence. Neither great defenders but harden is a good offensive player and played great D on Kobe. There is no Bryant in the Spurs. Parker is a boss and his match up with Westbrook will be a good one. OKC in 6. Either way though, it is going to be a great series

  22. j says:

    so, you are saying the nba still exists?

  23. another Heat fan says:

    I hope this series go to a game 7 :)

  24. pravdo says:

    I keep hearing how the thunder’s competition to this point was tougher than the spurs’, but take the names of the teams away and it’s a different story: thunder beat two old teams that were inconsistent all year while the spurs beat two young and athletic teams. Everyone gets hung up on the fact that it was lakers and dallas but let’s be honest those teams were not that good!

  25. LA:LC says:

    Lakers and Clippers lost
    Spurs got plenty of rest by being perfect.

  26. xavier says:

    SPURS IN 5!!!!! OKC wont advance

  27. OKC 2012 champions says:

    damn i still cant decide who is my favorite here. Two of my favorite NBA teams collide. Though I want these teams to win, Spurs will crush OKC in 6. Even though I’m a big OKC fan. The thing is, there’s no Kobe around and that’s a relief.

  28. me says:

    GO MANNNUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

  29. Remylop says:

    Spurs and Boston in the Finals

  30. KraC says:

    GO GO GO GO SPURS!

  31. nr1lad says:

    this is going to game 7

  32. DEEP3CL says:

    OKC will not be winning this series, they don’t have the coaching, nor player depth to overcome the Spurs. Bringing one guy off the bench doesn’t mean you have a solid bench. Fisher and Cook are spotty shooters that will miss more than they make shots. The key will be to turn Westbrook into a turnover machine.

  33. John From OKC says:

    At least Ibaka is starting to get some publicity outside Oklahoma. It’s a safe bet Duncan is more afraid of him than most Spurs fans are. “I-BLOCK-YOU” may be the most underpublicized big man in the NBA even with what he accomplished this year.

    This will probably go at least 6 games whoever wins. I’ll be rooting for my native city’s Thunder but I’m too much of a realist to expect a sweep for them.

    • Joey says:

      I just checked the stats from game 1 and realized that Ibaka had NO FOULS. If Scott keep making dumb moves like dat in close games (keeping your best paint defender out of the game with NO FOULS), this gonna be a short serie. My heart is with OKC but my head is with the SPURS…

  34. W/E says:

    u cant tell whos gunna win this series cause both teams are very good. if both stay away from injuries its gunna be very competitive

  35. Boris says:

    I’d really like to see a celtics and spurs finals, two elite teams of the past going head to head for one last run to the title.

  36. Abir says:

    I think the thunder will take it in 7 games. Most will be very close games but i feel thunder can close out games better than the spurs.

  37. Adam says:

    Think about this guys. Spurs went 8-0 vs 2 not very experienced teams and Jazz being a complete joke in the finals. Thunder beat Last years champs 4-0 and the year b4 Lakers 4-1. Even if the Spurs are the better team, the Thunder have had a harder road and better practice up until this point.

    I’m calling Thunder, but we’ll see. Vegas is saying spurs over thunder and heat over spears. If thunder win then thunder over heat.

  38. brianna says:

    im a die hard thunder fan of course i want okc to win but to be honest you really cant tell whos going to win this series both teams have a good bench and starting 5 and match up basically all over the floor yes spurs have been playing well in the playoffs thats because they really havent been tested thunder have these are the two best teams in the nba so to tell me you think the spurs are going to win you really cant tell til they play and most of yall on here wasnt even a spurs fan til they started winning so jump off the banwagon cause yall wasnt with them before the season so why now. but anyway LETS GO THUNDER LETS BEAT THESE SPURS #THUNDERUP

  39. SUNS says:

    this is gonna be a great series. as much as i hate the spurs since them and the suns are rivals, i am gonna have to pick them to come out and win it. both teams are great and great basketball will be played, but the spurs are simply too good at the moment for anyone to stop them. spurs in 6

  40. recently, ive talked a lot about durants rise to stardom amidst his “unguardable postseason”..however..the spurs will win this series..they are just the better team..they took the season series..tony parker will win the pg battle..spurs and heat in the finals http://www.mindofmattman.com/2012/05/western-conference-finals-spurs-to-lose.html

  41. Barcelona says:

    que tarde son todos los partidos..aqui seran las 2 y media o tres de la noche.

  42. Brandon says:

    I have been waiting all week for this!!! I say the Spurs in 6, GO SPURS GO!!!

  43. Suave says:

    Spurs

  44. Mario says:

    The best matchup will be TP VS RW!! Both quick & agile & capable of driving into the paintvat will, although TP will have his hands full because RW is bigger & stronger!! Can’t wait!!

  45. marven king says:

    Okc are a good young team, fast and fun to watch but spurs are a old,smart team.The same thing that happen to the thunder last year is going to happen to them this year.Spurs in 6 games.

  46. Seattle SuperSonics says:

    I’m really looking forward to this series, I honestly think both teams have a very good chance of winning. I think the Thunder really need to get good minutes out of their bench to win, if Durant, Wrestbrook and Harden keep playing how they’ve been playing, and the bench steps in hitting big shots, they’ve got this series in 6 or 7.

    • sbfern805 says:

      THATS THE PROBLEMS…THE BENCH CANNOT HIT BIG SHOTS!!!! SPURS BENCH CAN!!!! just how the Lakers lost…BEnch was outscored…they lost!!!

  47. ahjun@cebu says:

    Spurs will go back to the Finals,.

  48. thunderhater says:

    The spurs bench is much deeper than the thunder bench. The spurs are over 50pct in 3 pt shooting. Those 2 factors will power the spurs over the young thunder. The main actors will cancel each other out. The role players will be the biggest difference, the spurs dont skip a beat when the bench comes in. The Thunder’s only chance is to make it a run and gun show all game long, all series long. The experience of the Spurs will shine through as they can play both fast pace or half court offence. The veteran championship coach Pop is the best coach in the nba and runs a well oiled machine. The spurs take the wcf in 5 maybe 6 games. The east coast teams offer no resistance for the Spurs. Tim Duncan gets his fifth ring as the Spurs cruise through the finals.

  49. Wendel says:

    Its up to the role players? As if. The history of sports is that big players make big plays in big games. So either Durant and crew go off or the Spurs stars make things happen one more time.

  50. Goldwin says:

    OKC in 7!!!

  51. sctx says:

    Spurs Win #19 coming up in 8 hours!!!….gonna be a great series!!!…. two awesome teams with awesome fans!!!…. Spurs in 6 and then we do it all over again next year !

  52. Fefe (Nets) says:

    Very true. Both teams are complete team with good bench and good starting fives.
    Very hard to pick a winner, but we’ll sure have one of the best series of the past few years. I predict that

  53. Kobe@Manila says:

    Yeah I know, OKC had beaten LA but this time, Spurs will stop you from achieving your dream..

  54. Vrapz says:

    If they can stops parker penetration in the paint …Okc will hav a good chance.

  55. Hg says:

    The injury bug may be the leading factor. both teams has remained close to injury free, but the NBA is where injuries happen. If one of the big three of either team goes down, I would give the odds to SAS, if one of the main bench players goes down, I would give the odds to OKC

  56. Marcus Vinicius says:

    Spurs in five!