This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 6:00 PM Central Daylight Time
Place: The New Myriad, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net Southwest
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), News Radio 1200 WOAI
Previous Meeting(s): None.
The Spurs....are pretty good this season. In every year since the 1988-89 season, the Spurs have managed to stay a playoff team. Except, of course, for 1996-1997, when they used their dismal record to draft Tim Duncan. In fact, out of all 44 of their years of existence, the Spurs have only missed the playoffs 5 times.
But, ignoring history for a moment, people have kept a constant disaster watch on the Spurs over the past few years. Tim Duncan is 34 years old, and Ginobili and Parker have been hampered constantly by injuries. So the dynasty has to fall at some point, right? Wrong. The Spurs continue to find talent in the most unlikely of places. George Hill has seemed to be the answer at Point Guard. He's not as good of an assist man, but he's just as good of a scorer. Dejuan Blair was a man many passed up on due to injuries in the 2009 Draft, but he hasn't missed many games so far, and he's probably the best big man to come out of the 2009 class so far.
Below: More Spurs Rambling, How the Game Will Go, Prediction!
And this year, the Spurs have continued to find talent. Tiago Splitter, a Brazilian Euroleague All-Star who used to play on a team with Luis Scola and outscore him has joined the Spurs after many years of consideration. He hasn't shown a lot yet, but many consider him to be a potential breakout star. Heck, the Spurs picked up an undrafted guy in Gary Neal and use him regularly in their rotation.
The Spurs aren't a great example in how to form a dynasty. But they are a great example in how to keep your team consistently good for a long period of time, allowing them to survive in a small market. Kind of like that Thunderteam everyone keeps talking about.
Back on our side of things, there's still no update on the Jeff Green situation. Whether he's healthy is one thing, but whether the team wants to play him on consecutive nights coming off an injury is another thing. Nick Collison is still certainly out.
But, Jeff Green or no Jeff Green, the Spurs will still give us quite the licking inside. And the Thunder will have to look for offense from their role players, and we'll need at least 3 guys not named Westbrook or Durant to be in the double digits in order to be in the running for winning this game. But, most importantly, the Thunder will need to buckle down on defense. The Spurs are actually winning some of their games in the 120s now, and I could see them destroying the Thunder by 20 or 30 points if the Thunder don't find a way to defend the post. How do we defend the post? Simple: No smallballing. If that means playing Aldrich, White, and Mullens, so be it. But I really doubt the Thunder can outscore the Spurs in any situation, and we're not quick enough to hassle their big men in the paint. But with how well the Spurs have done lately and the Thunder's inability to beat any team with good big men, I seriously doubt we can get it done tonight.
Prediction: San Antonio 115, Oklahoma City 99