“We came into tonight’s game saying, ‘We want to get all of the 50-50 balls,’ and I thought we did a great job of that for 48 minutes,” Kevin Durant said according to USA Today. “We don’t want another team saying they played harder than us. I thought we did a good job of getting loose balls, getting rebounds, getting tips, and getting extra possessions to help us win the game.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder came into series against the San Antonio Spurs as underdogs. No one expect them to last against an experience, well coached team with a star in Kawhi Leonard and an unstoppable scorer in LaMarcus Aldridge. It was a blowout in game one, looking at the team as no chance of winning. Now the tables have turned to the Thunder up 3-2 to possibly close the series in six games.
It starts out with the intensity of the team’s defense. Ever since game two, the Thunder have been making the hustle plays on every possession. Steve Adams has become an x-factor, bothering Aldridge in the post, and making Tim Duncan irrelevant. Duncan is becoming an afterthought at age 40, not playing well against the Thunder. But Durant and Russell Westbrook also making big-time plays.
Both have scored in the 2os, actually trusting other teammates to elevate the team to another level. They know that it’s going to take a team effort to beat the Spurs. Coach Billy Donovan in his first year doing a tremendous job keeping his team poise in the closing minutes. Although most of these games have ended with questionable calls from the refs, the better team has been the Thunder.
Maybe the Spurs force a game seven to advance to the western conference finals. But the Thunder may already know how to close and prove everyone wrong on how great of a team they really are.