This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 6:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The Automatic Telephone and Telegraph Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: Entertainment Sports Programming Network, Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, KMYS CW 35
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), News Radio 1200 WOAI
After last nights pummeling of the Clippers, the Thunder are sky high in spirits. Unfortunately, waiting for them tonight is a huge brick wall in the form of the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have convincingly beaten the Thunder in their previous two contests, with the Thunder never really looking like they had the tools to win the game beyond the first quarter.
How do we beat the best team in the NBA? As I've said before, you can't outscore them. Despite this team wearing black and having Tim Duncan on the roster, they are a much different team than those of the Spurs past. They won't dominate you in the post, run half-court sets, slow the game down, and grind their way to victory. This team will outscore you, and they will do it while continuing to dominate you defensively. They have 8 guys who are capable of having a 20 point scoring night, and it's rare to see San Antonio shoulder their load on one player.
In order to beat them, you have to play good defense. Shut down the paint and force them to go to the line. Don't let Dejuan Blair get easy buckets. If a guy gets the hot hand, immediately double-team him, because the Spurs won't hesitate to exploit him. Force Ginobili and Parker to shoot threes.
All of this is easier said than done, but it is achievable. Unfortunately, with the Thunder being a team that relies on Durant and Westbrook to do the bulk of the scoring on most nights, our success will hinge on their ability to score consistently. If, by some miracle, that can happen, tonight will be a glorious Thunder victory. But, chances are it won't, and the Thunder's fairytale walk through bad teams will have ended on this grueling back-to-back.
Prediction: San Antonio 105, Oklahoma City 92