Thunder fans are wondering what is in store for the team tonight when they face their first playoff series deficit of this season, down 1-0 to the Spurs. Royce Young at Daily Thunder offered up three questions for us to ponder. I offer a few snippets below, but check out the full answers here:
1. After Game 1, rate your confidence level (1 being a sweep is coming, 10 being four straight wins for OKC).
Royce Young: 6. I'm a bit shaken, no doubt, but that happens with a postseason loss. Each game is so important and the series is so fragile that a lone loss feels like the walls are starting to crumble. You go from riding high to wondering how in the world the team got this far in the first place. But the series is game to game and the goal was to get one of two in San Antonio. And even if the Thunder fail at that, it's still not over. Too early to think about that though. A complete game and the Thunder should get back on track.
2. What's the biggest adjustment Scott Brooks needs to make?
Patrick James: Do something, anything, to keep the Spurs out of the lane. If that's even possible. San Antonio has used patient and superior passing, cutting and decision-making to get easy slashing layup after easy slashing layup game after game. It's maddening, and beautiful to watch. Brooks has to find a way to free up Serge Ibaka to be at his paint-roaming best, blocking and altering shots as a help defender. The Thunder has to cheat a little and rely on the rangy, long perimeter players to recover on open jump shooters in order to keep the Spurs out of the paint. If Ibaka has to let go of a post player headed to the perimeter in order to stay free in the paint, OKC should try living with it and scrambling to contest enough jump shots to make it work out.
3. Fact or Fiction: Game 2 is must-win.
J.A. Sherman: Fact. If it were any other team in the league (including OKC themselves) I would say ‘fiction.' However, given the winning streak that the Spurs are on right now, the thought of OKC being down 0-2 and needing to win 4 out of the next 5 games is too tall an order. I think the most important thing right now is that OKC has to show everyone in both locker rooms that they can beat the Spurs. Once that momentum shifts, the complexion of the series changes completely.