Blogtable: Are Spurs Better Than OKC?




Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 20: Spurs’ win over OKC | Missing Amar’e | How good are the Nuggets?


What did the Spurs’ win over OKC on Monday tell you?

Steve Aschburner: The Spurs’ victory told me that the team that needs homecourt advantage less than anyone in the league probably is going to get it, at least through the West bracket. San Antonio is 23-12 on the road, better than 17 teams’ home records. It also plays only six more times, of 17 remaining, away from home. Sitting out games against the likes of Minnesota on Tuesday won’t help, but slim as their lead is, they also hold the tiebreaker over the Thunder. The Spurs’ April 4 game at OKC might tighten things but it won’t swing this race.

Fran Blinebury: That the injury to Tony Parker did not mean the Spurs were going to roll over and simply concede the No. 1 seed to the Thunder. But I think most with even a passing acquaintance with Gregg Popovich already knew that. However, the loss Tuesday night at Minnesota — played without Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard — showed that there is no margin for error. It is going to be a very difficult task for San Antonio if Parker doesn’t beat the projection of 4-6 weeks on the sideline. Because starting on March 24, the Spurs will play seven games in 12 nights while running a cruel gantlet that goes: at Houston, vs. Nuggets, vs. Clippers, vs. Miami, at Memphis, vs. Orlando, at OKC. If they’re still sitting on top of the West after that, the city fathers might start making preliminary parade plans.

Jeff Caplan: It tells me the West is the Spurs’ to lose, even with Tony Parker sitting out a month. Their resiliency is  amazing and their precision is inspiring. The schedule favors San Antonio to hold onto the No. 1 seed, a lead that increased to two full games after Monday’s mauling of OKC. The Spurs are 26-4 at home and have 11 of their remaining 17 games at the AT&T Center where they have won 18 in a row this season. The Thunder have nine home and nine road games remaining. They have not been a stellar road team this season (19-13) and there’s some tough road ground to cover at Memphis, Milwaukee, Indiana, Utah, Golden State and Portland.

Scott Howard-CooperNot much. San Antonio took a 2-1 lead in the season series, which could become important as a tiebreaker, but there is one more meeting. The Spurs and Thunder were 1 and 1A before Monday, in some order, and remain that way. The standings change, obviously. That’s the only adjustment.

John Schuhmann: Not much. OKC was playing its fourth game in five nights and fifth in seven. Between March 1 and March 11, they went from Denver to L.A. to Oklahoma City to New York to Charlotte to Oklahoma City (again), and then to San Antonio. That’s a pretty brutal stretch, so I’m not going to make any judgments regarding the way they played on the final night of it. Still, I’ve thought for a while now that the Spurs are the best team in the Western Conference. With their improved defense and with OKC’s lack of James Harden, the Spurs are my (current) pick to face Miami in The Finals … as long as they’re healthy come May. So a Parker-less win over the next best team in the conference somewhat reinforces my existing beliefs.

Sekou Smith: That Spurs’ win tells me that the numbers on these two teams don’t lie. The Spurs are the better team this season and will hold that distinction heading into the playoffs. In the past you always felt like the Thunder had a ceiling they hadn’t reached because of the James Harden factor. Harden coming off that bench was always the Thunder’s wild card. And without him there now, the Thunder don’t have nearly as dynamic an arsenal to throw at the other elite teams. They’re still one of the best. But they are exactly who and what we thought they would be without that X-factor coming off the bench.

51 Comments

  1. ChrisPaul says:

    Imagine if Knicks shooting coach Dave Hopla joined their roster. He’s the best shooter in the world I swear! He almost doesn’t miss. Together with Melo and Novak, they could reach 60 3 pointers in a game. Who agrees with me?

  2. MJfromOKC says:

    San Antonio should have rested their guys against us, they probably would have still beaten us after that road trip, and not lost to the Wolves.

    I could seriously see us beating San Antonio in a 7 game series. I can see us losing to them during the regular season.

    We played them on our first game of the year when our guys were still in shock from the Harden trade.

    We played them after that hard road trip which included Denver, Clippers, NYK, Charlotte, Boston at home, then San Antonio.

    If SA was on a road trip like that they would be resting their guys and losing games. We lost to the top competitors on that stretch of games, Denver and SA.

    The West isnt SAs to lose quite yet.

  3. Jay Mendoza says:

    Numbers don’t lie. Rings don’t lie. SA-Town getting the gold.

  4. Tom says:

    Popovich is ten times the coach Brooks is, give Pop the sort of talent OKC’s been rolling in and he’d break league records.

  5. marty says:

    Still like OKC with the West & Dur

  6. malvin34 says:

    the OKC has no chance in beating the Heat in playoffs….They cant even beat the spurs and try to look at their roster, the spurs has great players: Parker,Duncan,Leonard,Ginobili,Green,Splitter,Diaw,Jackson,Bonner and even upcoming talents from Joseph and Baynes..what do the OKC have? just Durant, Westbrook,Ibaka and Martin..

  7. ChrisPaul says:

    Wait so are you saying if Pop coached OKC, they will be able to beat the Heat?

  8. Bryan says:

    I like Harden as much as the next guy, but is everyone forgetting last year? Great up until the later playoff rounds.
    Being traded was the best thing for both him and for OKC. He was their best facilitator and they relied on that, gave Westbrook an excuse not to do it himself. Martin isn’t as good a facilitator, but he is as good in terms of bench scoring which is the real reason Harden made them so dangerous. Keeping the scoring load not totally on KD and Westbrook while forcing Westbrook and KD to be more involved with the rest of the team will only make them better in the long run.
    Westbrook is the key if OKC ever wins a ring. If he can get it together and run point on a night to night basis, then they will be a force for any team to handle. As long as he keeps having his ups and downs like he’s doing… Nothing more than deep playoff run after deep playoff run for OKC.
    No disrespect for anyone in the Spurs, Pop is a legend and whatever stem cells they are using for TD and Manu are incredible. I just think that OKC has the potential to be more dynamic. If they can’t get more consistent, Spurs will stomp them though.

  9. Ron says:

    Everybody said the same thing last year but OKC beat spurs easy 4 games in a row !! And this time the same thing is going to happens go OKC

  10. John says:

    It will be the Spurs. Timmy’s 5th Symphony.

  11. ChristopherTx says:

    GO SPURS GO!

    OKC/HEAT Fears Spurs this year because of Defensive Rating: 89.1 points per 100 possessions and an Offensive set where it forces opponents to use entire 18 seconds to defend it. Its a triangle offense in hell or drugs! With Spliter and Leonard on the line up the defense is at 88.3 points per 100 possessions.

    “Last year we were a very good offensive team, but we were a middle-of-the-road defensive team,” Gregg Popovich

  12. Kimmy says:

    I love OKC, but sorry, they cannot beat the Heat. And neither can the Spurs for that matter. So does it really matter who is better? OKC should have never traded James Harden. James Harden, come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Karlo Garcia says:

    That they can win without there future HOF’er.

  14. dan cruz says:

    okc has no chance against miami.

  15. hugo blanco says:

    sir sparhawk says The Heat has an easy schedule. By any chance do you know that Miami has 18 games on March, precisely at the end of the regular season. Give me a break. The Spurs has had the easiest one.

    • D says:

      Number of games in a month doesn’t matter nearly as much as playing mostly eastern conference pansies. The Spurs have only lost 4 games to the eastern conference all season.

  16. OKCFAN35 says:

    Who said it would be a 7 game series? I love the thunder…
    but the spurs are just too dang good!!!!!!
    we’ll probably lose in 5. :(

  17. Steven says:

    The Spurs this team are the deeper better couched team. Last years playoffs the Spurs had no answer for James Harden, they had our best defenders (and attention) on Durant/Westbrook and left Harden was the almost untouchable. I believe this series is going to be the best in NBA playoffs. And with the mix of Veterans and Youth the spurs will take it in 7.

  18. Jason Page says:

    Spurs vs. Heat in championship! Do not need seven games to beat Okeville

    • TOJASONPAGE says:

      Spurs gonna beat us like they did last year????? Lets take a trip back and remember the spurs went into the playoffs on a huge winning streak then when they met us we beat them 4 striaght games! And we are better this year than we were last year and the old spurs are even older this year. So use common sense on this one. We will beat the spurs again. The reason the spurs are so good is they have IMO the best coach in the league and possibly the GOAT of coaches. If Pop was our coach….thunder would be a dynasty winning 3+ rings in a row maybe more. I will also admit that allthough we will definately beat the spurs and go to the finals again….we will loose again to the heat. Scott Brooks does not know how to beat the heat. He will have Fisher on Lebron or something dumb like that and blow it. It will be just like last year sadly. The spurs would probably beat the heat though and maybe memphis as well but neither memphis or spurs can beat us so we will likely see a repeat of last year but I hope thunder will step up in the finals like I know they can and beat the heat. We are the better team just can’t seem to get it together against them. Westbrook is the only one that gives 110% against the heat. If our whole team would just follow his lead we’d be unstoppable!

      • Just saying says:

        Thunder got James harden last year,with all due respect but Kevin Martin is not he same player so I think okc can’t beat the spurs this year…

      • Aussie OKC says:

        “The reason the spurs are so good is they have IMO the best coach in the league and possibly the GOAT of coaches. If Pop was our coach….thunder would be a dynasty winning 3+ rings in a row maybe more.” EXACTLY !!!

        If Pop led us we would be unstoppable. I think Scottie has done a great job getting us to this level but I dont know if he can bring us to the next step. He needs to utilize the bench more and blood some of the younger (less minutes) players. Not every play can be about KD, Westie or Kmart.

        I think we have a much better team this year than last (even with Harden gone). I dont think we are using the team though.

        Spurs will be tough to get past but I think we have the personnel to do it. Miami – seems to be our hoodoo team though. We should smash them but I dont know if the team believes they can smash them.

      • Jason Page says:

        Very good points, and Westbrook digs deeper than anyone on the team in the clutch for sure (driven soul). Good teams correct themselves when they fall down especially in the playoffs; it is an embracement that eats at them for a year. I respect the Spurs but not a fan and having said that I think they will be tough team this year in the playoffs, but will not win it all! OKC had a better bench last year but that only matters when post season starts and surprises happen then! Miami is tough and coaching will beat them, but as the Spurs proved last year anything can happen!

      • M'by says:

        I quote “…and the old spurs are even older this year…” –> are you kidding me? Do you watch basketball at all? Have you heard of Danny Green (26), Tiago Splitter (28), MVP caliber Tony Parker (30) and MOST IMPORTANTLY KAWHI LEONARD the new star of the Spurs aged 20 praised by the GOAT Coach!!! The Spurs is those guys’ team nowadays with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili as supporting cast. Come on, you are the one who needs common sense. The Spurs are way stronger then they were last year. Just watch and learn how it’s done…

  19. hahjjaja says:

    i hope the lakers will crush the spurs @ 1st round.

    • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

      Not going to happen because of Dwight Coward throwing the Games like in Orlando…Also the main factor that Kobe is out and Lakers are dropping out

  20. Jason says:

    Spurs are just good in regular season, in playoffs time they will be tired and look old.

  21. sirsparhawk says:

    They arent the better team, just a better coach. And they are more consistent. Also I think they play better in the regular season than teh playoffs, they wont win a 7 game series against the thunder.

    • The Hammer says:

      What young legs are you referring to? Leonard’s,Green’s, Neal’s, Mill’s or Splitter’s? If you pay attention and I think that you don’t, you can expect Pop to have the young legs guard and dismantle the OKC or any team’s offense while the older players like TD, Many, Jack, Diaw and Bonner score. Don’t forget the master facilitator TP4. Does OKC have this? That is why they will get dusted if they face each other on any series. Westbrook is a great player but widely inmature and selfish. KD is my fav player but he is an offensive player. What is that leave OKC with? Refer to the “Box score’ from last game, nobody has a stellar night besides KD and Westbrook. The Spurs lost against Minn and Phoenix, so? There are more imortant teams to worry about winning games against teams that will not be close to the 8th spot. I wish we could have keep Rubio when we had him on sight

  22. Hoguey says:

    It all depends on how healthy the Spurs are by the time the conference final rolls around. The Thunder are unlikely to have injury issues.

  23. Rico says:

    Actually OKC is better than Spurs Personnel-wise. But Spurs will be hard to beat.

    BTW rooting for MAVS to enter the playoff and at least for the last time, SPURS vs MAVS :)

  24. Marwin says:

    I believe that although Tony Parker is injured, the spurs can maintain the No. 1 spot or at least No. 2. The spurs have a deep bench with Gary Neal or Patty Mills occasionally filling the void with Parker out. Their strong play from Duncan, Ginobili and Leonard will help them as championship contenders. Come playoffs though, I have a guy feeling it will be OKC vs. Denver in the west finals.

    • The Hammer says:

      Well if the NBA fixes things up like they did last year that will be a possibility but Manu a Manu neither OKC or Denver can sustain the Spurs and walk away against a tight Spurs defensive team. OKC’s bench is somewhat shallowed and they like to play and win silly games exposing their stellar players to injury.

  25. W/E says:

    No they are not, BUT they have a way better coach.

  26. Marwin says:

    I believe that although Tony Parker is injured at the moment, they can maintain the No. 1 spot or at least No. 2. They have a deep bench with Gary Neal able to step up and provide some numbers that will benefit the spurs. Come playoffs though, I have a gut feeling it will be OKC and Denver in the western conference finals.

    • Ali says:

      U serious? they won without parker and if parker comes back they have an advantage because okc lost Harden

  27. boon says:

    as many said earlier in the season, the schedule does favor certain teams.

  28. Big Euro says:

    This will be a really great series to watch. The Spurs have superior bigs and Splitter + Duncan might hurt the Thunder down low more than OKCs perImeter players can do to the Spurs. But then the Thunder have better wild cards in KMart and Ibaka. Remember last year Ibaka went 11-4-11 and that Westbrook learnt to find open men.

    My gut tells me youth will overcome old legs in this one. 7 hard games should favour the younger team.

    • The Hammer says:

      Where and who are OKC’s role players? Missing, they had a really good one and he is playing with Linsanity. If I had to guess right now…I would pick the Spurs and Denver on the western conference maybe even Memphis!

  29. Stern H8r says:

    Even though Pop has been doing a good job of resting his stars throughout the season, the Spurs won’t win 7 against the Thunder. A single game playoff would favor the Spurs, but you can’t rest enough in a 7 game series. Home court won’t matter.

    • Stern H8r says:

      Meant to say “Spurs won’t win IN 7″…for a guy who corrects everyone’s spelling a grammar…I ate that one.

    • The Hammer says:

      This will go to who has the experience of playing play off games. Without the NBA club fixing this, the Thunder has very little experience at that. Besides the Spurs have 7 young guns ready to defend and score plus a number of older players that can score at will. OKC? Handicap!

      • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

        People are serious? Spurs > OKC? Spurs are Run down and OLD! 1 lucky game for Spurs, SMH