SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs don’t think their defensive plan against OKC was faulty in Game 4. It was just a case of the Thunder having a shooting game for the ages.
With San Antonio’s defensive attention focused on Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden for most of the game, OKC’s big men Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison connected on a lights-out 22 of 25 shots from the field.
“Maybe they will do it again, but I don’t think so,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “We will play the same defense and if they don’t shoot it as well, it won’t be because of our defense. It will be because they didn’t shoot it as well.”
While the Spurs probably can’t do much about it if Ibaka continues to bury 18 to 20 foot jumpers, they should be able to put an end to the slam dunk contest the Thunder conducted, especially in the first half. OKC finished with seven dunks in Game 4, many of them when offensive rebounders were able to zoom through open lanes in the defense. It’s about finding your man and putting a body on a body after the first shot goes up and having the discipline to hold off offensive rebounders.
Jumpers are one thing, but the drive-thru dunk lane must be closed down.