By Sekou Smith, NBA.com
VIDEO: Tony Parker says the Spurs need to be perfect against the younger and more athletic Thunder
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Perfect, huh?
That’s Tony Parker‘s word. Not mine.
The San Antonio Spurs’ All-Star point guard is well aware of the challenges the Oklahoma City Thunder pose, with and without Serge Ibaka in their lineup.
“They’re younger than us,” Parker said. “They are more athletic than us. So we have to play as close to perfection as possible to beat them.”
No one should be held to that standard. Not even the mighty Spurs, who have looked as good as any team in these playoffs the past two weeks. Perfect is an unreasonable expectation for any team, in any game.
And yet, you know Parker makes a great point. The Thunder suckered the Spurs two years ago, spotting them a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals before blowing by them in four straight games on their way to The Finals in 2012, where they fell at the hands of the Miami Heat.
So while perfect seems like a bit much for Game 1 of these Western Conference finals, let’s just call it “Spurs-Thunder, The Remix,” it’s probably the only appropriate way for the Spurs to approach things this time around.
With some of the best lip-syncing work on the anthem we’ve seen in years, courtesy of Shaq!
24 — There have been more shot fakes and shots off the glass in the first few minutes than we’d see if we were watching “Hoosiers.” Get me out of this time machine!
23 — As they say in the fight game, “everybody’s got a plan until they get hit.”
22 — Thunder just 2 for their first 12 and down 18-7!
21 — It’s not just about Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the Thunder. Well, mostly it is, per the Dean of Discipline …
20 — Patty Mills is in the building tonight. Five quick points and a world-class back flop trying to take a charge on Reggie Jackson.
19 — That early lead has vanished. Thunder don’t get nearly enough credit for weathering storms as they seem to do time and time again. It helps to have gunners everywhere
18 — Nothing like watching the playoffs with Grandma!
17 — By any means necessary Scott Brooks. I see you!
Dancin’ Danny Green is cranking up for the Spurs, too.
16 — Oh, and before Derek Fisher goes off to the Big Apple …
15 — Pace. Pace. Pace.
14 — Better Basketball starring TP!
13 — No Serve, no problem, right? Wrong!
VIDEO: Don’t forget the Heat and Pacers will go at it again in Game 2 Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
12 — DDG from 3 to kick off the second half. He’s been at this for years folks …
11 — How do they keep doing this?
10 — Put Westbrook, Nanu and the cheetah on the starting line … I got Westbrook! #worldsgreatestathlete (If all you’ve ever known in your lifetime is cordless and/or cell phones, don’t even ask!)
9 — Things that make you go, hmmm?
8 — Adams and Baynes guarding each other right now … #MMAdreamsdocometrue
7 — This is officially a Twilight Zone night. Pop talked David Aldridge‘s ear off on the end of the third. Durant’s getting T’d up and the breakneck pace continues …
6 — “Sugar K” Leonard puts it in the spin cycle!
5 — This is what we call an extreme miscalculation … 60 and counting!
4 — There is no adequate explanation other than #spursway …
3 — Not ready to make any crazy proclamations before at least Game 3 or 4. Haha!
2 — Stop it Manu. Have mercy on ’em!
1 — Spurs went hard in the paint (66-32 edge without Serge). Owned the floor from start to finish! Game 1 to the home team … for the second straight night.
VIDEO: TP said perfect … this crossover was as close to it as you get, just ask Thabo Sefolosha