Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder will play Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. EST on TNT.
The Thunder finished off the Lakers in five games last Monday and have been eager ever since to get back on the court.
Durant and the Thunder have a lot of time to prepare for the Spurs who are playing as well as any team left in the playoffs right now. Durant is getting frustrated with all of the questions the media has for him about stopping the Spurs.
“I’m just going to play my game,” Durant said. “I can’t really think about how those guys are going to defend me. They’re a tough defensive group. But every question is about how the Spurs are going to come and how the Spurs are going to play. But you got to ask me how we’re going to come at them. We’re a tough team as well. We come out and play hard. We have a lot of weapons as well. I know they’re the No. 1 seed, they’re a tough group and they haven’t lost in a couple of months but I think that we bring another dimension to the table as well. And we can come out and compete.”
Durant is right to feel this way. Everyone has been jumping on the Spurs’ bandwagon recently and rightfully so but the Thunder do seem to be getting overlooked some in this matchup.
This is not how it usually goes either. The Spurs are the team that is supposed to get overlooked while the Thunder get all of the attention because they have star power.
Everyone loves the Spurs now and wants to pretend like the Thunder are still this young team like they were last year in the playoffs that can’t beat San Antonio like when they struggled against them in the regular season this year.
This Thunder team is different now. They are battle tested and proven in these playoffs. How come no one wants to talk about how they won eight of nine against the two teams that won the last three NBA titles?
The Spurs aren’t exactly battle tested yet in these playoffs and in a way haven’t even needed to play playoff basketball yet. They swept the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers, two teams that they match up extremely well with.
It’s not to take anything away from what the Spurs have done. You can’t blame them for easily sweeping two teams but there is something valuable in how the Thunder have won some of their games so far in the playoffs.
This is a team that is figuring it out and can win close games. They know their identity and that’s a scary thing when you think about their talent.
The series promises to be the best yet in these playoffs, that’s for sure. It just got even better now that Durant feels like he has a chip on his shoulder.