The Thunder took a surprising lead in their series with the Spurs last night. The Spurs have now lost 3 games in a row after winning their previous 20, and they are starting to grasp at straws. They started Manu Ginobili for the first time last night, and seldom-used DeJuan Blair saw game action as well. While Manu certainly played well, you could see that it had an effect on the team's overall substitution rotation and the Spurs' secondary players did not play well at home. It will be interesting to see what Gregg Popovich decides to do in Game 6, where the Thunder can close out the series.
Tramel gives high marks to the Thunder bench who, while not able to repeat their phenomenal performance from Game 4, never the less dominated the Spurs bench by outscoring them 40-22. OKC is getting contributions from all players now, and the Spurs' finishers are coming up small.
One. ONE. One.
Here are some great quotes from last night's game. The Thunder seem to have turned the tide, at least in the eyes of many of the TV analysts.
Arnovitz asks whether the Thunder have turned that hypothetical corner to change from future tense to present tense.
Pruiti breaks down some other aspects of the Thunder's offense that are working. Again, these sets can work so well because the Spurs absolutely cannot double-team any one of the Thunder's stars, or else one of the other two will go off.
What was that famous line once uttered by FDR about Anastasio Somoza Debayle?
Harper writes about Russell Westbrook the enigma. What is amazing to me is that people continue to complain that Westbrook cannot do certain things while he is actually doing them. Last night, Westbrook tallied 12 assists on the night, 8 more than his Spurs counterpart. Yet it is Westbrook who is seen as not looking to make the good passes.
David Aldridge goes through the first round of this year's NBA draft and prognosticates as to where players might end up. There is plenty of good stuff in here, so don't just browse past it. OKC has now had 63 consecutive sellouts at the Chesapeake.
Both the Eastern & Western Conference Finals have undergone a reversal of sorts, and tonight the Celtics will see if they can replicate the Thunder's effort. How did it happen?
Gregg Popovich is actually quite capable of answering in-depth and thoughtful answers. However, those answers are predicated on reporters asking good questions, which they often fail to do. This is the result. Also, he makes fun of Craig Sager mercilessly.
And some when they actually had hair. You're never gonna guess which one is the guy flashing 'Lincolns' in his photo.
The cameras caught TNT host Ernie Johnson going all Gordon Ramsey at his studio help. Actually, I think the scene is staged, as EJ is one of the most generous men in sports television.
Unless you're talking about the Thunder or the Heat, the breakaway dunk has all but vanished from the game.