Spurs need to follow smart path


VIDEO: Spurs-Thunder Game 6 preview

OKLAHOMA CITY — Going into Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, all coach Gregg Popovich wanted to see from his team was fire and aggressiveness.

Now with a chance to close out the Thunder on Saturday night (8:30 ET, TNT), what the Spurs probably need most is smarts.

“If we just want to play crazy and take quick shots, they’re going to beat us,” said Manu Ginobili. “They are more athletic, they are more talented. So we’ve really got to be sharp.”

There’s a good chance that Popovich will again open with Matt Bonner replacing Tiago Splitter in the starting lineup to spread the floor and open up space in the middle of the OKC defense with Serge Ibaka forced to chase on the perimeter.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks could make the next chess move by shifting defensive assignments, putting Ibaka on Tim Duncan to keep him closer to the basket. But that would also mean that Kevin Durant would have to take time guarding the sizable-but-quick Boris Diaw, who came off the bench to start the second half of Game 5 in place of Bonner.

Ginobili says Diaw has just the kind of veteran experience and wisdom that can make a difference.

“He’s smart, he knows how to pass, and he is a great combination of being a good shooter without shooting too much, and a driver, and can post up more as a player,” Ginobili said. “He’s very versatile, and you can change things up with him a lot, and looking at each other, we can make decisions on the fly.”

9 Comments

  1. GOAT-puff says:

    yes OKC2014, that 3 point shot by manu shouldn’t have been necessary at all if only the refs called that clear goaltend by Ibak.

  2. HNIC says:

    Change your name to 2015 sir!

  3. HNIC says:

    Maybe next year Mr. 2014

  4. okc2014 says:

    The Spurs have no answer for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. OKC2014.

    • Dan says:

      They have a great answer. TEAM play.

      • okckd35 says:

        And illegal.screens at crucial times. That 3 should have never been shot

      • 36yrfan says:

        ….illegal screens ?? ……lol……..so That’s the problem !!! It was just derek floppin’ like a fish …..again…….. but don’t worry, you have a whole summer to figure out why the MVP doesn’t touch the ball very much and why the point guard thinks it is HIS team…….sunny how trades work out sometime, isn’t it ………….. The Spurs trade so they can DRAFT a rookie and the okies TRADE to get a “shooter”?? ……and then TRADE him away the next year……so be it…….and just look how those moves have worked out…..

      • 36yrfan says:

        ….PS: Where have you been okckd–whatever??? Haven’t ‘heard’ much from you this playoff season???

      • 36yrfan says:

        correction…..”FUNNY how trades work out…”