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What Happens in Game 1 Shouldn't Stay in Game 1

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How OKC can secure good play moving forward.

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

You see, what the Thunder insist on doing this postseason is trying to prove everyone and everything completely wrong. The scary thing is, they’re actually doing it.

  • Going to run over the Mavs? No, going lose a game AT HOME because we still have demons to excise.
  • Choking away under pressure against the executioner Spurs? Actually, they held the "second best player in the league", Kawhy-are-you-out-in-the-second-round to 39% in the clinching game.
  • What hopes do they have of making it to the finals when they have to win games in Oakland and San Antonio just to have a chance? Hilarious, because already they have won the same amount in those places AS THE ENTIRE NBA DID THE ENTIRE SEASON. Yikes.
  • Steph Curry is better than Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant? FUNNY, because Slim had 10 rebounds, Russ 7 steals, and Curry 7 turnovers, all in that first game. So he is better at SOME things… but for some reason wasn’t better as a scorer or a leader and it showed in his poor decision making, especially the costly turnover at the end. Passing with two hands is the only way he knows how to fly, and it’s quietly his biggest flaw as a player.


TALK TO CHUCK

It’s not just me that knows something is frightening about these guys. After the game, Chuckstradamus cited turnovers and rebounds as bellwethers for the series. Not that Golden State is doomed without those just because a ringless retiree said so, but maybe you will start to see why certain matchups give us a chance to break history while those same scales can tilt in GSW’s favor and allow history to continue on its way.

BUT… 1-1

This is where some analysis comes into play. Certainly we lost game two but you had to figure the calls were not going to favor us AND that the Warriors would try something different on the boards than the previous bout.


Unfortunately, their difference made all of the difference. We had three less TOs in the first match and it produced a nice 6-point victory. But Lady Turnover is a whore and Durant had 8 of those STDs in the second matchup, with OKC as a whole coughing the ball up 3 more times than the Warriors. Noticing patterns? Good.

Let's keep going. Oh, look! Our +8 rebounding advantage in game 1 reversed to -9 as they figured out which personnel to use for board crashing. ESPECIALLY the offensive glass, where they somehow stole 15 right from under us and we only managed to parse 7 from their basket. And yet Game 1 saw us eat double digit OREBs while they only managed eight.

What the hell happened?

The best rebounding team of all time cannot work this way. Just to win in six, we had to outrebound the Spurs by almost 11.3 a game if my mental math is correct (sorry no source here just my brain). Certainly the "best team in the league" will pull a few tricks out of their ass if they continue to face tough losses, especially at home.


A bad example of this is how Ibaka looked while playing alongside Adams, which required Serge to take over some perimeter duties defensively. He was out of sorts against the Warriors’ weaving and screening and could sadly not keep up with their scheming.

But that can be adjusted by coaches during a long series as well, so don’t fret Thunder fans, we have one of the best coaches in the league at this point. In the last five years Scotty Brooks, Doc Rivers, and Erik Spoelstra have been the only other coaches to defeat Popovich in the playoffs. That's not a bad list to be on, so wait until the end of this series to make your final call on Billy the Kid Donovan. Speaking of the series end, I took a look yesterday...

AND MY CRYSTAL BALL SAYS...

Still, Thunder in 7. And that's all because of ReaperAtHisFinest. Watch that three times like I did then wait until Gm 3 to see it live on TNT. OKC knows drama.