Thunder rise as one; Clips fall as one

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com

 


VIDEO: Kevin Durant dominates as OKC ousts the L.A. Clippers

LOS ANGELES – Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti waited outside his team’s locker room after Thursday’s 104-98 series-clinching Game 6 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Folded arms. Straight face. Business as usual.

Still a few birthdays shy of turning 40, Presti started cutting his teeth in the San Antonio Spurs’ front office more than a decade ago. Come Monday night in San Antonio, Presti’s hand-crafted Thunder will take on the Spurs for a second time in three seasons for the right to advance to the NBA Finals.

For anyone who believes it is impossible to recreate the successful, machine-like precision of the small-market Spurs in this demanding age of instant results and quick hooks, the Thunder deserve a much deeper look. Starting with the fortuitousness to be able to draft a once-in-a-generation superstar who lacks elitist sensibilities, both franchises are rooted in front office and coaching stability, fiscal responsibility, shrewd drafting and, beyond all else, an overarching foundation of trust and sense of family.

The Thunder, of course, hope to begin their own ring collection.

“We’ve been together so long, we’ve grown a lot,” said the once-in-a-generation superstar and first-time MVP Kevin Durant, who persevered through a 1-for-7 start to then go 11-for-16 and finish with a game-high 39 points and 16 rebounds, two shy of his career best. “Guys have matured through every type of situation and every type of game.”

All of it shined through during difficult moments of a seven-game, first-round slog against Memphis and in this wild, momentum-shifting semifinals series against L.A.’s talented point guard Chris Paul, its rising star Blake Griffin and rock of a coach Doc Rivers. All were thrust into the unfair position of shouldering an untold emotional toll beyond the realm of the hardwood, heaped upon them by a disgraced owner now banished from his team and league for the remainder of his life.

It’s impossible to gauge just how much cumulative damage the ongoing Donald Sterling saga wreaked on the Clippers, but it was always there.

“I know I’m tired, I can tell you that,” Rivers said. “That’s what I was really trying to do throughout this, is try to bridge; I felt like I had to try to protect our guys. The playoffs are hard enough without any of this stuff.”


VIDEO: Blake Griffin and Chris Paul talk about the difficulties the Clippers faced off the court

Afterward, the Clippers’ locker room fell eerily silent and seemed to be in a state of sedation as players dressed and cleared out. Silence through bloodshot eyes suggested this one cut deeper than other postseason-ending defeats.

“Disappointed,” Griffin said, his fingers pressed against his forehead. “I feel like it could have been a different series with just a couple small things. But, you know, proud of how the guys handled themselves throughout the season and also the playoffs.

“Faced a lot of clutter,” he said. “I thought we handled it well.”

Rivers said he has no plans of leaving the team regardless of the league’s fight ahead to remove Sterling as owner. On the same day Sterling vowed not to pay the $2.5 million fine levied by commissioner Adam Silver, Rivers said he is “prepared for somewhat of a messy summer, mentally at least. I just think it’s going that way.”

But as Rivers would also concede, the Thunder won the series “fair and square.”

They did it as a team, again executing — just one aspect of OKC’s game so many harshly critique — to the end better than the Clippers. Russell Westbrook shook off a two-point, bucket-less first half and finished with 19 points and 12 assists. He was again relentless with bursts to the rack and overall played a brilliant series against Paul, averaging 27.8 ppg on a remarkably efficient 49.1 percent shooting, and 8.8 apg.

Earlier in the day, ESPN tweeted this mind-blowing fact that puts Westbrook’s powerful postseason into perspective: Only Oscar Robertson has averaged at least 27 points, eight assists and eight rebounds in a postseason. After the second round, Westbrook is averaging 26.6 ppg, 8.4 apg and 8.0 rpg.

The victory should help to erode the silly-yet-pervasive perception that OKC will only go as far as the athleticism of its two stars, and that Brooks, the league’s longest tenured coach (along with Dallas’ Rick Carlisle and Miami’s Erick Spoelstra, who all trail the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich), couldn’t hold Pop’s clipboard.

For all of the praise rightfully heaped on Popovich and the Spurs organization for developing ordinary players and meshing them seamlessly into their system, Brooks gets nothing similar from those outside OKC. Yet, he’s led a franchise that won 20 games in Durant’s rookie season in Seattle and 23 that first season in Oklahoma City to three West finals in four seasons. The core of the team — Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka (his status is uncertain after leaving Game 6 with a left calf injury) were all Thunder draft picks and are all just 25 years old.

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins is often a target of ridicule himself for what he doesn’t do. Perkins, though, is credited within the organization for helping push Durant to his MVP level by encouraging KD to lead instead of serve his team. The big man knows the value of Brooks all too well.

“My grandpa used to tell me, ‘Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,’ ” Perkins said. “We know what Scotty brings to the table. Until you’re in his shoes, we’d like to see anybody else come and try to coach the two superstars that we got. I think Scotty has done a hell of a job, and we’re going to ride with him until the wheels fall off.”

The trade of James Harden before the 2012-13 season didn’t make the wheels come off. Instead, other Draft picks — like Reggie Jackson and rookie Steven Adams — have become significant contributors. Nick Collison, the only player besides Durant left over from the Seattle days, didn’t play in the first half, and drained a huge corner 3-pointer, just his fifth all season, in the Thunder’s decisive fourth quarter.

When the Spurs and Thunder tip-off the Western Conference finals Monday night, it will be billed as the team-oriented precision of the Spurs and their mastermind coach against two athletically gifted stars and their coach whose considerable skins on the wall go inexplicably unrecognized.

“We don’t get down on what people say about us,” Brooks said. “We’re focused. We know that we’re not a perfect team. We don’t claim to be. We don’t tell the world, ‘Look at us.’ We just play basketball. We play it as hard as we can. We try to play with very limited mistakes. What we try to do is play with effort every time.

“We’ve built this organization doing that every day. “


VIDEO: Thunder players and coaches discuss the Game 6 victory

81 Comments

  1. Blog-So-Hard-2014 says:

    Blake Griffin is horrible in the pick and roll.
    CP3 needs a PF that can shoot the ball.!!!

  2. okcDoke2014 says:

    Clippers are better team, Doc better coach, but really bad owner ! They did pretty good considering everything and should be proud !

  3. okcDoke2014 says:

    OKCow tipping and Thunder

  4. Jake says:

    more like the refs tripped up the Clippers…

  5. okcDoke2014 says:

    Go Spurs ! Go Pacers ! Moving on !

  6. The Thing Is... says:

    …the Clippers had to endure much more of a challenging post-season than any of the other teams. The whole mess with Sterling will definitely affect your play in a negative way, despite their professionalism. This being said, the Clippers don’t have a solid third-option that many championship teams do. Miami has Bron, Wade, Bosh. Indiana has George, Hibbert, West. Spurs have Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. DeAndre Jordan shows he cannot be relied on down the stretch, and Crawford is too inconsistent. People are starting to question Paul – 9 seasons and not once advancing to the finals – but he’s still arguably the best point guard in the league. Clippers need to add another dependable forward/guard option who can make shots as well as facilitate. Unless DeAndre Jordan somehow becomes reliable, I don’t think Clippers will have a chance at the ring anytime soon.

  7. Mett says:

    The Clippers players are going to end Sterling’s fantasy that he is going to hang on to ownership of the team. A player boycott of playing for the Clippers, which will undoubtedly spread to other teams, will be disastrous to the value of the Clippers and really harmful for the NBA’s image.

    The bottom line is that nearly all of the NBA players – especially the superstar players – are black, and they won’t play for a racist white guy. Players like Paul, Griffin, Crawford, and Jordan would be welcome on any team in the league with the NBA’s blessing, so if Sterling does not change his tune quickly he is going to end up with a starless team of D-leaguers and a 90% reduction in the team’s market value.

    If I were Paul, Griffin, Crawford, and Jordan, I would start the dismantling of the Clippers process by publicly announcing they will not play for the Clipper next year and they want to be traded, and start initiating talks with the Lakers to prove a point. Doc Rivers should join his players as the new Laker coach. The exclamation point will be winning it all next year with the Lakers, and make Sterling sit and stew about “would of, should haves” for the few years he has left in his life.

    The PLAYERS are what make the NBA go ’round, and it is high time that uppity owners like Sterling recognize this fact in dramatic fashion.

  8. Zersfan says:

    It all happened and the Clips won the first series anyways. You know the only way this article would’t have been published is if the Clips had won the whole shebang. The Thunder were the better team. Period.

  9. Jason says:

    The clips lost this series on one and only reason: Chris Paul.

    Chris Paul simply got outplayed by Westbrook’s athletism and aggressiveness. Cp3 will always be beaten by westbrook off the dribble, resulting in the whole collaspe of the clipper defense. Clippers need to admit that cp3 will always be beaten on defense by Westbrook, and should have throw in help, but they didnt seemed to do that. Cp3 was also obviously tired and burnt out due to the unlimited energy of westbrook, who never seems even a little tired. The other clippers have played well, especially blake griffin.

    • PKABUZZ says:

      So don’t you mean that: The clips lost this series on one and only reason: Russell Westbrook?

  10. Nick says:

    When it really counted, Westbrook made good decisions, and Paul didn’t. When it really counted Westbrook remembered he was the point guard, but Paul played like a 2. I’ve always considered Westbrook a work in process and wondered how long the process would take! I think he may have finally broken through and matured. I wish it wasn’t so – I’m a Spurs fan!

  11. James says:

    I was hoping the Clips would win the series, but to be honest they don’t deserve it.

    The Clippers really are the whiniest of the top teams. It’s as if they never got a break or a good call. The great teams play through the bad calls and adversity. Clips may never be great if they can’t grow up and play like men instead of whiny little boys.

  12. okcDoke2014 says:

    Thunder fans should stop crying, Spurs win series because they have best chance of bringing Title to the West by beating Heat or Pacers

    • You’re Floppiness says:

      Did you just come out of cave? Maybe have you heard of the 2013 Finals match up?

  13. ImJusSayin says:

    Anybody else curious as to the timing of the announcements from the NBA? Just about the same as the bad calls just the right time to affect the game. But hey didn’t hurt team right?

  14. James says:

    Clipper fan should stop crying and accept the truth. Doc River said it clearly that “OKC won the series fair and square”. Through out the series both teams number of foul call were about the same.

  15. okcDoke2014 says:

    Great coaches and teams up their game in playoffs. Spurs and Heat are playing the best ball so far.. Matchups during season do NOT equate to playoffs

  16. okcDoke2014 says:

    Great coaches and teams up their game in playoffs. Spurs and Heat are playing the best ball so far.. Matchups during season do equate to playoffs

  17. kdaio says:

    This is beyond ridiculous already. I mean come on, Clips were getting there, but obviously every hyped up fanboy of the NBA wants to see the MVP Durant vs Lebron duel this year. No disrespect to any players, but the reffing at all is just too obvious these days. Why play so many games when the result is predetermined ?

    • okckd35 says:

      Conspiracy theories lol. Either way on that play it was a blown call. If no foul call was made on barnes than OKC was robbed. Besides the refs swallowed their whistles in the 4th of game 4 to let LaC back in it in typical Hollywood fashion.

  18. LBGay says:

    Lebron can only win another championship if he lets someone else take the game winning shot for him

  19. fan says:

    okc swept the season series between them and the spurs so hopefully they win in 6 or 7. However, why is everyone saying that the thunder can’t beat the heat? They were 1-1 this season. I wouldn’t count kd and Westbrook out for that series…the level of the teams that heat played to make it to the conference finals were much lower than what the thunder or even the spurs played…heat didn’t do as well than the thunder or spurs in a weaker conference during the regular season..I know its the playoffs but it should still count for something…if the heat make it to the finals, I think both the thunder and the spurs can beat them

    • thespectator says:

      you needa realize regular season and post season games are two totally different things, those wins and losses dont mean anything, reasaon why people say heat can beat okc in the playoffs in a finals in a 7 game series is simple, because they can…okc has to do a whole lot to match up with the heat who are in pure championship form..to beat the best you have to be the best, okc isnt there yet

      • kd's abeast says:

        Excuse and ur using what fact to say okc is not there yet? Everyone keeps judging how okc matchuo with the heats based on 2012 finals nd u guys r forgetting its 2014 okc squad had grown up and gotten alot more experience since then. And I think they can take them on bcuz we shuld remember that this year kd alone beat the heat. And the only reason y heat beat okc in the second match up is bcuz it was the game where russ came back after months of not playing ball and he was trying to mesh back with the squad.

  20. okcDoke2014 says:

    king, I wish I could disagree ! I like the fact that the NFL has a cap so you cannot buy championships like the 49ers did years ago. This was only an example, watching Montana and company was amazing to watch ! Also Steve Young, Jerry Rice, etc.

  21. WhoCares says:

    No the refs made sure Oklahoma made it. They are going to make a Lebron KD match up and make sure KD wins because he is the nice guy and they want him to be the face of the nba. SO stupid.

  22. king says:

    This goes to show how MONEY CONTROLS everything in this materialistic world.
    You know obviously the Clipps are short on money during these situations… and look at vice versa… Look at OKC, they have the MVP. Their Team Stock is Above the Roof.
    OkC have unity amongst their team from top to bottom
    They are bribing the Referees with money to get FOULS AND other calls to alter the game and lead them to Victory.
    PLease check last quarter of game 5 and 6 for evidence. These Referees are millionaires for a reason.

    Sad, but this game is becoming ruined because of these refs.

    • Raptors2014! says:

      Lol, have you considered the fact that all basketball players are millionaires, too? The fact that salary on most refs can’t even compare to a rookie? How about the fact that OKC is a small market, especially when you compared to the glamorous LA. Do you people even think before you spew things out of your mouth?

      I’m not disagreeing with you in re: refs having terrible officiating, but your points are ridiculous.

    • okckd35 says:

      Wait wait…. hold on. A money controls ever u thing statement directed at a smallarket team such as OKC from a los angeles fan? Really? Okc had to get rid of their 3rd star due to a small market. Be thankful Harden still isnt on the thunder haha

  23. Adam says:

    Clippers were not distracted, people need to stop finding things to blame for their failures. Front office has nothing to do with their game. That’s just ridiculous. Clippers aren’t up to the championship level at all, no excuses needed. OKC was always better and way more experience. Clipper fans just want a way out of their misery. Cut the blaming and just face the facts.

  24. MR210 says:

    Good Job OKC. You beat a LAC team that was clearly not in the series mentally.

    Now, you will face the machine that is the Spurs.
    Spurs were woken up during Dallas series, steamrolled over Blazers…and now will have a speed bump in OKC.

    This will not be like 2012 WCF where Spurs win two and lose 4 straight.

    Spurs are a much better team now, and have better coach and bench.
    Plus – the 4-0 record OKC had vs. Spurs during the regular season means nothing.

    Spurs playing at a high level cannot be stopped – even by the best 1-2 Punch in the NBA.

    Spurs and Heat rematch – much to the disdain of the NBA…

    • You’re Floppiness says:

      “speed bump in OKC” there is a good chance you end up eating those words later or changed your Poster name

  25. okcDoke2014 says:

    TEAMS WITH NO APEARANCES OR TITLES

    Charlotte – Bobcats (0 appearances)
    Charlotte/New Orleans – Hornets (0 appearances)
    Brooklyn – Nets (2 appearances: 2002-2003)
    New Orleans/Utah – Jazz (2 appearances: 1997-1998)
    Toronto – Raptors (0 appearances)
    Minnesota – Timberwolves (0 appearances)
    Cleveland- Cavaliers (1 appearance: 2007)
    Vancouver/Memphis – Grizzlies (0 appearances)
    Denver – Nuggets (0 appearances)
    Orlando – Magic (2 appearances: 1995, 2009)
    Phoenix – Suns (2 appearances: 1976, 1993)
    San Diego/Los Angeles – Clippers (0 appearances)
    OKC – Thunder – (2 appearances: 2011-2012)

    • okckd35 says:

      Except okc was the sonics and have more appearances and a title. Know your facts.

    • okckd35 says:

      Okcdoke you are quite a troll. Must be really butthurt about the clippers. Everything u say has no basis and is completely pointless. You are trying to talk bad about a team that was just clearly better than the team u root for.

  26. cp10 says:

    Doc Rivers got fined for complaining about a “series-defining” call of the officials Game 5. Well here is the result of that series defining call. (And I don’t know why Doc got fined, he didn’t say anything disparaging, but the NBA knows better I suppose)

  27. Joel West says:

    The fine tuned synchronization of the Spurs is too delicate. The Thunder will come in and diarupt one thing, and then everything falls apart for San Anatonio

  28. Joel West says:

    The Spurs are a well oiled machine that runs perfectly like clockwork. However the Thunder are the monkey wrench that twists and destroys the entire operation, as evidenced by the utter domination in the regular season. The Spurs are a perfect example of order, while the Thunder are the chaos that disrupts everything. Their inconsistant style of play, with the wild antics of Westbrook, and the improvisation by the whole team do whatever it takes to get Durant the ball are what completely disrupts the Spurs rythm and throws off the metronome runnimg in their heads keeping them organized. It is a.perfect example of when order meets chaos. Everything will become chaos amd the Thunder will thrive.

  29. okcDoke2014 says:

    Durant and Westbrook will be to expensive to sign as contracts end

  30. okcDoke2014 says:

    Thunder got help in winning series 1 and 2. They are beatable as we have seen if it is straight up/ Pacers or Heat will if not the Spurs ! All three have multiple championships. I am thinking Pacers will be Primed to win

  31. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    Spurs will probably beat Miami this year, but i don’t think they can get past OKC they’re just a really bad matchup for them. Spurs have to play perfect, while OKC has more room for error… i say OKC in 6, Miami in 6 against Indiana, and then Miami in 6 against OKC in the finals… sadly

  32. Unkle Daddy says:

    Let me just say, anyone who thought the Clippers were going to the finals, was truly lost. Even with all the talent they aquired it wasn’t happening. And, it won’t happen next year either, not with this starting five. But, they are still better than the Lakers and will be for sometime so kudos, and even if Paul had gone to the Lakers, they would have still been terrible.

    • Rich2416 says:

      At the end of the day, Clippers still have no championships, and ssecond round exits mean nothing. Even chris paul said it, no one plays to win rounds or advance. If you don’t win the trophy, then there is nothing to ha g your hat on. The Clippers got elminated just like the grizzlies, mavs, warriors, hawks, wizards, blazers, bulls, and bobcats. Clippers need to prove their better than the lakers by really winning something, not just advancing, because all the teams mentioned above did the exact same things. Clippers have not separeted themselves from the pack.

  33. Rob V says:

    When my W’s took them to 7 games without our starting center I knew the Clips didn’t have what it takes to get to the finals.There is always going to be questionable calls because the refs are human,they make mistakes.Championship teams find a way to get past bad calls.The Clips bench gave them almost nothing last night.6th man of the year Jamal Crawford had 4 pts.They got 17 pts from their entire bench.Reggie Jackson and the rookie Adams gave the Thunder 24 pts.In my opinion everyone’s recent favorite center Deandre Jordan was outplayed by the rookie Adams(in this game) and you can’t win when you all-star,MVP candidate PF fouls out of a closeout game.KD deserves all the shine he gets this season.He’s the MVP,not LeBron.LeBron will always shine and continue to shine,let KD get a lil bit.And I’m not with the conspiracy theories,if you think there’s something crooked going on,stop watching.I’ve been a NBA fan for 32 yrs now and there isn’t too much I haven’t seen and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

  34. Paul says:

    It appears obvious, after games 5 and 6, that the powers that be, operating through the refs, wanted OKC to advance, and not the Clippers. Could it be because of the Sterling fiasco? Nonetheless, there were some obviously wrong calls, and Doc Rivers is right in his vocal disgust of such poor officiating.

    • okckd35 says:

      Boo hoo. If that were the case why did the league let the clippers come back and win game 4? If CP3 didnt choke tbey would have won game 5. But the fact is that CP3 is not as good as Westbrook and the rest of the world just saw this.

  35. Game Time says:

    Clippers fan, really upset with officiating, but that wasn’t why they lost. Clippers just didn’t step up when OKC started coming back. Anyhow, I OKC is in for a real fight next round because the Spurs bench is going to be a nightmare for them, and much better defense will be applied to Durant.

  36. tony says:

    Clipper fans …..Stop crying…The alternative is watching the Laker next year!!!!!!!

  37. CL says:

    The spurs play great basketball as a team this year in the playoff. But they can’t beat OKC because the NBA wants the 2 super stars to meet in the final. Lebron vs KD. Not saying OKC didn’t deserves to advance to the western final, but there were so many calls in game 5, and 6 vs the clippers that made me wonder the refs favor with the thunders.

  38. bunbury says:

    Wrestbook has established himself as the best PG. I’m happy to see this happened, FINALLY. I have always said that he is better than Rose but that dude is the most overrated player or was. RW is everywhere, points, dunks that energize his team, steals, rebounds, defense, hustle, simply an impact player everywhere on the floor.

  39. Mleh says:

    R.O.B.B.E.R.Y

  40. thespectator says:

    awful many calls that didnt go clipps way..something is def going on in the nba…i wonder if their some secret meeting where someone decides who makes it to the finals..but n e ways congrats to OKC, durant put in that work!

    • George Turner says:

      I fill the same way you do I seen the calls too. I really believe they pick who they want to go to the finals

    • Rich2416 says:

      I agree that there were many bad calls, but chuck on inside the nba got it right, that the game shouldn’t have come down to a few plays and can’t be justified by a few calls. Bad calls. Yes. But its a 48 minute game and the clippers had many opportunities to close out.

    • okckd35 says:

      Really? Are you really that blind? If the clippers actually played real basketball instead of flop for the officals they might get more calls. But when half your team (paul,griffin,barnes,crawford,collison) flop almost every play how do you expect the refs to call a clean game. Their reputation for flopping is what has the officials swallowing their whistle not wanting to see one team advance over another

  41. Disgusted says:

    Just wondering why Durant is in EVERY headline about EVERY Thunder game and nba.com had NO headline on the banner about Lebron scoring 49? Also, what about the foul discrepancies with Durant and Westbrook? Durant gets an amazing number of calls that NO ONE ELSE gets. For example, Lebron gets fouled several times in EVERY game with no call, while Durant swings his arms into people and gets the call. This increases his scoring average by a few points a game and decreases Lebron’s by a few. Is someone trying to manipulate things, as the referees generally do anyway? It is always obvious which team the league wants to win. When do we start fining refs for this? Chris Paul was very frustrated about this and wanted to say something after the game, but knew enough to shut up. The memories of the referees are long.
    Having said all of the above, Westbrook is a great player, Durant is incredible, the second best in the league, with the best stroke I have ever seen, and the entire OKC team, coaching staff, etc. are worthy of whatever they win – fairly. So let’s make it fair.
    FINAL NOTE: Durant is also an incredible human being, someone we should all be proud of.

    • SookyLALA says:

      You’re joking right?
      I actually laughed out loud at this comment. Thanks dude.

    • Dom says:

      He’s in most headlines for obvious reasons.. He’s MVP for the entire league so he’s killed it in almost every game. He’s the points leader for the entire playoffs too, plus westbrooks been in just as many headlines for his triple doubles.. Your dreaming if you think lebron doesnt get calls that everyone else wouldn’t too. PS durant is incredible, the BEST player in the league**

    • You’re Floppiness says:

      Should be disgusted with the Flippers. Thinking they deserve something, you got to take it. No worries when they start stinking again you guys go back to cheering for the Lakers

      • Caldron Pool says:

        Nah, this looked just like the series in ’07 Suns vs. Spurs. Series was fixed and the referee was indicted on corruption charges and fixing games shortly after the season.

        The NBA tried to sweep the issue under the rug but the corrupt Ref came out and said he’s not the only corruption official, he’s just the only one who’s been caught so far.

    • okckd35 says:

      Funny I didnt see lebron mentioned in this article. Just the MVP!

    • okckd35 says:

      Hmm same reason why lebron got every headline the last 3 years. He was the mvp. Now durant is the mvp. Mvp=best player in the league = more headlines.

    • Rick says:

      So….after reading your comment I decided to compare Lebron and Durant in the way of how many fouls they draw per game and how many free throws they each get. During the season they both drew about 6 fouls per game while Durant took 2 more free throws per game while making three more. Still, I don’t see that as a ridiculous difference.

      Now, turn to the playoffs and Durant draws 6 fouls per game while Lebron draws 8 on average and Durant takes almost 10 free throws per game and Lebron 11. So, once again I don’t see where the correlation is that Durant gets more calls. Plus Durant is playing a whole 5 minutes longer per game. That translates to over an hour of more time playing than Lebron, plus the fact they’ve played 4 more games. Here’s another interesting stat…..In the playoffs Lebron has taken almost 50% of the Heat’s free throws whereas Durant has taken only 1/3

      And when Lebron scored 49 it was everywhere, Last night Durant’s 39 was a big deal because he started 1-7 and then scorched the rest of the game and grabbed 16 BOARDS! How about them boards. Lebron has grabbed double digit boards in one playoff game. Durant….. SIX Games!

      Durant deserves every bit of hype he’s getting. And I’m not saying Lebron lost the MVP….Durant freakin stole it!!!!

    • BirdGang says:

      49 points isn’t tht much. Lebron should average tht with how much he carries the Heat. It’s Durant’s time to shine don’t be mad Lebron didn’t get to be the best as long as Jordan and Kobe did.

  42. ivan says:

    i say spurs have not much to worry about come monday kahwi leonard wil guard durant and will succeed .. the spurs bench will dominate thier bench like always and spurs will advance to the finals where they will get there prized revenge and finals trophy. anyone agree or disagree?

    • googergieger says:

      Two years ago Spurs should have gone to the finals and OKC was given everything four games in a row to get them there. Spurs are a bettter team, but they have to play perfect every game and hope OKC misses their shots. Even then refs will keep it close for OKC. Like always.

      • okckd35 says:

        Okc outplayed the spurs. What were u watching? They had no answer for James Harden and now have no answer for Reggie Jackson. Clippers fans sure have short term memories. The Bad calls that u are all complaining about are the same ones that helped you beat GSW. No clipper fan wants to admit it but if CPFlop didnt try and flop shoot the ball with 11 seconds left u would have won the game. Funny how no clippers fan talks about the no call on the hack by barnes but all.want to talk about the out of bounds play……

    • OKC says:

      kahwi can slow durant down but westbrook will be an even worse problem for the spurs than monta ellis in the first round

    • bunbury says:

      I think we will have some of the best conf finals we’ve ever seen, yes, in both conferences not just on the West. OKC can beat the Spurs, we all can see that, except ofcourse, people like you– spurs’ fans!! I like the spurs but OKC has 50% chances.

    • Mike says:

      You would think that, right? No. The refs and the NBA will make sure the final will be Lebron vs KD.

    • okckd35 says:

      actually the Thunder have won something like 9 of 11 over the spurs. OKC is the one team that they did have to worry about

    • Moe says:

      I agree that if Spurs play Spurs basketball we should win. If the referee get involved then it’s going to be a long summer.

    • agd says:

      I love the thunder but think that they would get swept against Miami….so just for that reason alone I hope the spurs advance. Do not want to see a three peat…would be nice for a small/mid market team to show that money doesnt always buy championships.