Obviously the Thunder's season ended in a very dark tone, after the team totally self-destructed at the hands of the Heat. But at one point, the season could have ended in a much worse fashion. The Oklahoma City Thunder were down 2-0 against the San Antonio Spurs, a team the Thunder had struggled with during the season.
In most senses, the Thunder hadn't proven themselves as a national title threat. They had beaten a Mavericks team in the first round that was a shell of what they used to be, and in the second round they had tangoed with a Lakers team that had no bench or point guard to speak of. In other words, the teams were tragically flawed, and most people were beginning to think the same about the Thunder. The Thunder didn't have a post threat. they had no offensive flow. There was just no way they could beat a totally cohesive TEAM like the San Antonio Spurs. From top to bottom the Spurs were a better roster, while the Thunder were merely a collection of hand-picked role players around a couple of stars.
The Spurs had beaten the Thunder in a variety of ways. During Game 1, the Spurs assaulted the Thunder with a barrage of threes and a small lineup that helped them trick their way into the paint. During Game 2, Tony Parker was set loose, and the Spurs got way too many wide open shots by cranking up the pace at the right times.
But the Thunder hadn't yet written their swan song. And it wasn't the big three that eventually led the Thunder to victory in the series. It was the role players. Thabo Sefolosha totally shut down Tony Parker in Game 3, using his size to keep Parker from attacking the rim. Ibaka, Perkins, and Collison all had great offensive performances in Game 4. Daequan Cook had a great 8 point surge during the second quarter of Game 5. And the Thunder, as a team, effectively controlled Tony Parker in Game 6.
Of course, the stars had remarkable performances as well, but the fact remains that they wouldn't have even gotten close without great efforts from the supporting cast. And that's what makes a comeback story great. A team uniting to cover up their flaws and beat a superior opponent.
In any case, it's better than when KD retires for a year, comes back at 41 and plays for the Wizards. That comeback will be totally lame.
Got another favorite comeback moment? Any great memories of the Thunder-Spurs series? Let us know! Post a comment!