Basic Answer For Spurs: Show Up Early





OKLAHOMA CITY – For a team that has let a 2-0 in the Western Conference finals turn into a 3-2 deficit, the answers floating out of the Spurs’ morning shooting before Game 6 were quite simple.

Show up early.

The fact is that in three straight losses, the veteran team from San Antonio has allowed the young Thunder to set the tone in the first half.

“It’s not effort,” said coach Gregg Popovich. “Competitiveness is a little bit different. Physicality. I thought we just kind of followed them around in the first half and whatever they wanted to run we followed them and tried to guard them. They’re into us. They’re playing physical and I don’t think we did that in the first half. Guys are trying, but it’s a different thing than being physical and playing with a little bit of ugly.”

So to take a page out of Pop’s own book, the Spurs need some nasty?

“Yeah, that kind of stuff,” he said. “I’m trying to stay away from that word.

“I was surprised by it (in Game 5). We had a little talk at halftime and in the second half they came out and played the way they should play in the Western Conference finals as far as the physicality is concerned.”

Manu Ginobili will be back in the starting line and doesn’t expect any fatigue from his extended minutes in Game 5. Neither does he view the game as a last chance for the core of the Spurs’ lineup as a contender for the championship.

“You want me to say what Tony (Parker) said last year?” he asked, laughing. “It’s just another season. I believe that as long as we all play and we are all healthy, we are going to have opportunities every year. But of course Tim (Duncan) is 36 and I’ll be 35 soon and you can’t play this forever, so we know that the window is closing. It is a great opportunity and we want to grab it.”

At this point, with their feet dangling over the edge of the cliff, the Spurs should be way beyond strategy shifts and subtle changes. Just ask Stephen Jackson.

“We’re loose. We know what we can do. We know we can beat these guys and we are prepared,” he said. “We just got to go out there and do it. Enough looking at film, enough talking and saying what we need to do, we need nasty and all that stuff. We gotta go out there and play, point blank.”

19 Comments

  1. Peter kern says:

    I am not much of a basketball fan but I do enjoy watching the playoffs. I know why now… After watching the finals between the Spurs and Oklahoma, I cant believe how biased the refs were. I now understand what happened to Dallas and LA. You can have very strong teams but the game is really in the hands of the refs, even if it was miscalled and or favors the underdog. Is it truly the best team or did the refs place the team by their bad calls? My wife says, whoever can pay the refs better, then that team will win.

    • Jay says:

      @Peter kern. Wow, sounds like the rambling of an ignorant bystander. Sure, there maybe some ‘bad’ calls by the refs w/c is expected anyway since most game were played at a freakishly uncanny speed. I’m not sure if you’ve seen an actual NBA play man but you’ll be amazed at the athletic gifts of these players. Having said that, ‘bad’ calls are just that, bad calls. Do not disrespect the beauty of the game w/ your myopic view!

  2. Jay says:

    They sure did show up early…unfortunately, they just missed the bus :)

  3. Tony from Sydney says:

    In your dreams!

  4. nelson tun says:

    Spurs still have a chance to win O.K.C at their home and bring the game back to San Antonio and beat O.K.C. Remember 2010 final! Lakers was 2:3 behind Celtics and picked up the 6th game in Boston and brought the game back to L.A and beat the Celtics for championship.
    Go,go Spurs! Make it 6th and 7th games.

  5. BFoulds says:

    Spurs will come out for a kill tonight against a young inexperienced OKC team.

    SPurs – 112
    OKC – 102

  6. jebbbig says:

    I have seen with my x-ray vision the final score tonight will be
    spurs-96
    Thunder-108

  7. W/E says:

    OKC is a great team…if only Ibaka and perkins were consistent on the offensive end they would be the best and most talented team in the nba by far…but their trio core also is too young and inconsistent so you never know,spurs still have hopes.

  8. MuzaffarOKC says:

    Its going to be a great match.One great team and one emerging team.The experianced and the young.Western conference rocks.May the the best team win.Hopefully OKC :-)

    • cp3 says:

      People say that the spurs and boston are too old to win. are they already forgetting last year’s maverick team? They were an average of 29-30 years old, their core were all over 33. And the spurs who are on average 26 years old(guesstimate) are too old all of a sudden? Go spurs…

  9. Mary Ross says:

    Love that thunder!! Drive to the paint&keep that defense up. We will reach our goal, because we have conceived it , we believe it, and we will achieve it!!! Champions!!!!

  10. Spurs Fan since early 80′s, now that being said here I go! Since I can remember the Spurs have been a good team, and a great team for the last 15 seasons (15 straight playoff appearances). Oklahoma City is a great team, and if they can stay focused and make the Spurs turnover the ball like the last 2 games they will Win. The Spurs have won 1 game against OKC in OKC, I know that your going to say that “Playoff and Regular season are a different feel and play” but they can still use that confidence. The Spurs have lost the last 3 games through horrible play, yet the last 2 games they barely lost. If they play as bad as they did and Bonner, Neal and Green all make a couple of shots… the Spurs win, that easy. But, they must show up, if the bench doesn’t show up then it is an OKC win! Also, OKC 13-0 and SA 13-1 at home, we Spurs know how steaks can end! Just like I gave Oklahoma respect, please NBA Fans give the Spurs respect. Please don’t get upset with us because of the media, in 15 seasons we have finally gotten credit (dare look at 15 seasons on ESPN, NBA, ETC., we never get credit) even with 4 rings. Sorry if we are a little AMP’d up since we are finally noticed! Either way, we are in the Finals, because the West will beat East! I am hoping for Spurs 5th, but OKC has my respect as well!

  11. phil @ spelkey55 says:

    That was my answers to the thunders when spurs were up 2-0 , look what happened. so i wouldn’t be so sure about that

  12. Slider821 says:

    Will Tony Parker be able to pentetrate and dish out like game 1 and 2? Can the outside shooters find their mark in game 6? Will OKC bigs play smart D or get into foul trouble? Which team will turn the ball over more? Is Duncan going to come out aggressive and looking to score?

    All among other things I’ll be watching for in this pivotal game 6.

  13. JONATHAN says:

    GO SPURS GO!!!! I BELIEVE! JUST CUT DOWN ON THE TURNOVERS AND DRIVE THE BALL IN! LETS TAKE OUT THE NASTY!

  14. spelkey55 says:

    My answer to the Spurs would be “Get your fishing equipment ready”, LOL