By John Schuhmann, NBA.com
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Though the Western Conference appeared to be wide open and stacked with nine strong teams, the two that are meeting in the conference finals are the two top seeds and the team that have represented the conference in last two Finals.
The San Antonio Spurs were the league’s best team this season and have home-court advantage. But they’ve lost 10 of their last 12 meetings with the Oklahoma City Thunder, going back to the 2012 conference finals, when OKC rebounded from an 0-2 deficit to win four straight.
It’s the Thunder’s length and athleticism that gives the Spurs fits. But OKC is down one long, athletic starter with Serge Ibaka out with a calf injury.
Here are some statistical nuggets regarding the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the West, as well as the four games they played against each other.
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions
Stats and rankings are for the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
Beat Dallas in 7 games.
Beat Portland in 5 games.
Pace: 96.3 (4)
OffRtg: 111.1 (2)
DefRtg: 101.2 (3)
NetRtg: +9.9 (1)
- Opponents have attempted just 22.4 free throws per 100 shots from the field, the lowest rate of the playoffs.
- Kawhi Leonard leads the postseason with a raw plus-minus of plus-93.
- Leonard has been the best mid-range shooter among players who have attempted at least 20 mid-range shots.
- Tony Parker leads the playoffs with 12.3 drives per game.
- Have outscored opponents by 43.6 points per 100 possessions in 56 minutes with Parker, Manu Ginobili, Leonard, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter on the floor together, the best mark of all lineups with at least 30 minutes of playing time.
- Patty Mills has traveled at the fastest average speed, 5.0 miles per hour.
Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)
Beat Memphis in 7 games.
Beat L.A. Clippers in 6 games.
Pace: 94.6 (6)
OffRtg: 107.9 (6)
DefRtg: 102.8 (5)
NetRtg: +5.2 (3)
- Only one of the conference finalists that doesn’t rank in the top three in postseason 3-point percentage. San Antonio, Miami and Indiana rank first, second and third respectively. The Thunder rank 13th at 33.2 percent.
- Lead the postseason with 16.7 fast break points per game.
- Best offensive rebounding team of the four remaining (and third overall), having grabbed 29.7 percent of available offensive boards. The only players with more offensive rebounds in the playoffs than Russell Westbrook are centers.
- Have forced just 11.1 turnovers per 100 possessions, the lowest rate in the playoffs.
- Westbrook and Kevin Durant rank first and second in postseason usage rate.
- The Thunder offense has scored 111.4 points per 100 possessions with Westbrook on the floor and just 93.4 with him on the bench. His on-off-court OffRtg differential of 18.0 is the highest among players on the remaining four teams who have played at least 150 minutes.
- Reggie Jackson averaged 21.3 points in four games (three off the bench, one as a starter) against the Spurs, his highest scoring average against any team.
- Durant committed a career-high 11 turnovers (video) in the Jan. 22 meeting in San Antonio.
- The Thunder scored 120.4 points per 100 possessions in Marco Belinelli‘s 122 minutes on the floor and just 92.9 in his 70 minutes on the bench.
- Duncan and Splitter combined to shoot just 16-for-41 (39 percent) in the restricted area.
- Duncan shot just 5-for-18 when being defended by Kendrick Perkins.
- See more exclusive SportVU matchup data here.