Tonight the Thunder come in the favorite to win game 6, as most think they should. A 3.5 point spread is a low number considering each team has won on their home by (almost) double digits each time. The narrative writes itself, with the Thunder playing their third game at home and their backs against the wall they should find the energy they need to pull it out. The problem is that this Thunder team has walked on the edge a lot, and it’s only a matter of time till their foot slips and they fall.
Never before have the Thunder had to use the phrase, “We’ve just got to play harder…” as much as they have in this series. It has been used in multiple post game press conferences. KD used it just the other day talking about game 5. The Thunder used to be known for their relentless energy they would expense to put pressure on teams all game. Attacking the basket, pestering defense, and grabbing every loose ball was their mantra. They still have that, especially when backed in a corner, but the question looming tonight is will it be enough? The Spurs have the ability to make teams look completely lost at times. The Thunder in series, when they get lost, end up losing by 17, 35, and 28. They still have won two games in this series, both coming at home, with an average margin of victory at 11 ppg. So hope abounds as they face elimination because they face it at home.
Pop made the adjustment in game 5, by forcing Serge away from the basket with a stretch 4. How will the Thunder right the ship tonight? Adjustments win games. The first two games, the Spurs dominated OKC at the rim without Ibaka. Games 3 and 4, the Thunder obliterated Spurs shots at the basket and turned turnovers into points. Game 5, San Antonio pulled Serge away from the basket and made every shot they took. Don’t look because I’m telling you they shot 100% from the field. It is Brooks’ turn to set the tone and bring this series back to San Antonio where the Thunder will finally have to show up to win game 7. Will my prediction of the Thunder in 7 come true? Will we see, it starts tonight with game 6 at 7:30 pm central time.
Things to watch:
- Forecast for the game looks like it’ll be around 79 degrees and cloudy with only a 20% chance of rain… Uh oh…
- In Thursday’s loss, Serge and Reggie combined for 17 points, 5 boards, and 4 assists. In the two wins they have averaged 21 ppg, 11 boards, and 4 assists. The crazy thing here is the these numbers could have been better because Reggie hurt his ankle in one of those victories.
- In the Thunder’s two wins, the Spurs never had a quarter with over 30 points. On Thursday, the Thunder gave up two with another quarter of 29. That’s three-fourths of the game that the Spurs are outplaying OKC.
- The Thunder had 7 steals in game 3, 12 steals in game 4, and 6 steals in game 5. Get the ball = Get the win.
- In all three losses, the Thunder shot 27, 20, and 24 three pointers. In their wins, 22 and 16 respectively. Go attack the rim!
- Each win, the Spurs have shot over 50% and when they lost they shot below 40%. Go figure…
- Still there is hope, at home and a 2-1 advantage when Serge is in the lineup.
Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder