The NBA Western Conference Finals best of seven series heads to Oklahoma City for Game 3 and 4 with the San Antonio Spurs holding a 2-0 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Spurs have routed the Thunder in the first 2 games of the series 122-105 in Game 1 and 112-77 in Game 2.
San Antonio has played team basketball with no one star standing out above the others. In Game 1, big man Tim Duncan had 27 points of which 21 came in the first two quarters of the game.
In Game 2, it was the Danny Green and Tony Parker show. The two combined to score 43 points. Green hit seven three-point shots.
The entire Spurs organization should be given credit for what the club has accomplished. What was once just an ensemble group of talented players has been transformed into a perennial title contender.
San Antonio will not beat themselves and for Oklahoma City to recover from their 0-2 hole, they must play nearly perfect basketball.
The Spurs are too deep and have played too long together to let the Thunder return a second time from 0-2 to win the West.
However, before writing off the Thunder, remember they have the league’s MVP in Kevin Durant. They have one of the league’s most explosive point guards in Russell Westbrook.
Even without Serge Ibaka, the Thunder could come back and win over the Spurs, but it is highly unlikely.
In 2012, the Thunder lost their first two games to San Antonio, before winning four straight to win the Western Conference.
During that season, Durant was instrumental in the Thunder coming back from 2-0 down.
In his last two games in that series of 2012, Durant scored 36 points in a Game 4 win and 34 in a Game 6 win.
In Game 2 this year, in just 29 minutes, Durant had 15 points, hitting just 6 of 16 shots from the field and sat out the entire fourth quarter.
Yes, miracles can and do happen, but this time around it looks nearly impossible. Bookmakers Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com have the Thunder as the biggest long shot on the board to reach the NBA Finals and win.
Over the past few seasons, the Thunder has turned into an elite defense, but without Ibaka to shut down the middle the defense must collapse and that makes them vulnerable to the outside jumpers. Danny Green was able to score 7 three pointers in Game 2, as an example of just that.
The margin for error is practically zero for the Thunder if they hope to dig themselves out of their 0-2 hole. This weekend will be a true test for them.
If they win Game 3, their possibilities increase, but if they lose Game 3, you can assure yourself that they will be swept in the series by losing Game 4.