Pregame Hoop Hopes: Bring the Thunder!

It’s a must win for the Spurs.

Entering Game 2 of the Western conference finals the Spurs looked on top of the world. They had a 20 game win streak going that carried over from the regular season, and convincing wins over the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers made the Spurs the favorite to take it all.

3 games later and their victory parade looks further than ever before for. The Spurs have dropped 3 games straight to the rising Thunder and are on the verge of elimination.

Poor play from Tony Parker, mainly because of the re-assignment of the Thunder’s Thabo Sefolosha on defense, has left the Spurs offence stagnant at many times. It was a beauty to watch the Spurs on offence during the Jazz and Clippers series. The ball was constantly swinging setting up open looks for every single Spurs player. Arguably the greatest strength of the Spurs was their depth, having reliable scorers like Gary Neal, Danny Green, and Tiago Splitter come off the bench meant that the offense was constantly pushing the ball.

However, against the Thunder, the Spurs have forgotten the patient playoff brand of basketball they were known for. Without those extra passes open looks can’t be created and those reliable scorers find themselves forcing the ball to create their own shots.

Trade deadline pick-up, Stephen Jackson, has been magnificent during the playoffs, drilling clutch three’s and doing all he can to contain Kevin Durant. On the other end, Kevin Durant and James Harden have been impossible to contain and at times they seem to score at will. While Russell Westbrook is playing mediocre basketball it is scary to think what will happen when they all line-up to have box-score breaking stat lines.

Meet James Harden, clutch 3-point shooter, skilled ball-handler, building.

Two weeks ago the Spurs were ready to sweep the Thunder, and to many it seemed like a reality. Presently, it seems like the Spurs might be looking at an early exit.

Here’s what I hope happens today

  • Spurs win, please?
  • Get a body on Ibaka! He can nail that mid-range jumper easily.
  • Perkins isn’t the point-guard with 4 minutes remaining
  • Spurs bench has to be the reliable Spurs bench, not the disappearing act they’ve been for the past 2 games.
  • Westbrook’s postgame shirt doesn’t contain more than 17 colours.

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