Most of the time, statistics don't lie.
In the case of the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers, however, somethings are not adding up.
During the regular season, the series was tied 2-2, with Thunder going 1-1 at home and 1-1 away.
We are 2 games into the playoff series, and it is tied at 1-1. Still with me?
Taking a look back, I wanted to see if I could pinpoint a statistical problem, but the basketball gods weren't going to make it easy for me.
In wins against the Clippers on Nov. 21, 2013, OKC shot 41-of-79 from the floor, shot 19-of-29 from the free throw line, had 49 rebounds, 25 assists, 7 blocks, 17 turnovers, 17 fouls, went 4-of-19 behind the arch and had a total of 58 points in the paint.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 1 turnover. His partner in crime, Russell Westbrook, had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 turnovers and 1 steal.
In the win on April 9, OKC overall shot 38-of-90 from the floor, went 26-of-32 from FT, had 44 boards, 18 assists, 8 blocks, 8 turnovers, 24 fouls, went 5-of-21 from 3-point land and scored 42 points in the paint.
Durant had 27 points, 2 turnovers 3 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals. Westbrook scored 30, had 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover and 2 steals.
Between their showcases in the playoffs and the regular season, the stats are almost identical. Nothing stood out to say, "Aha! That's the problem."
During the regular season, the Clippers went 39-of-86 from the floor, 6-of-28 behind the arch, 27-of-34 on FTs, had 50 boards, 30 assists, 15 steals, 22 turnovers and scored 52 points in the paint in a Nov., 13 win over OKC.
Blake Griffin scored 22 points, Chris Paul had 14 points and Jamal Crawford had 20 points.
In February, LA went 42-of-81 from the floor, 13-of-30 from downtown, 28-of-39 from FTs, 44 rebounds, 26 assists, 8 steals, 2 blocks, 17 turnovers, 23 fouls and scored 36 points in the paint.
Griffin scored 20 points, went 6-of-15 from the floor, and had 7 rebounds. Paul had 18 points, went 5-of-12 from the floor and had 12 assists. Crawford was the man of the night with 36 points and went 13-of-20.
You could probably say that the main factor for OKC as a whole would be turnovers.
In losses (including playoffs) against the Clippers, OKC committed 53 turnovers. Durant and Westbrook committed 27 of those 53 turnovers.
In wins against the Clippers, the Thunder turned the ball over 25 times, Durant and Westbrook committed 7 of those loose balls.
If OKC wants to continue their road to the finals, the main thing that would have to keep in mind is to avoid playing the kind of game that results in high turnovers, specifically against the Clippers, because that becomes a direct exchange between losing possessions and giving up points.
Sometimes, basketball is that simple.