Thunder vs. Spurs Game 6: Things Falling Apart For San Antonio?


Thursday, May 12th 2016, 6:39 am
By: News 9


The Thunder did what they said couldn’t be done in Game 2 when they won in San Antonio. Then for an encore, Oklahoma City did it again in Game 5.

San Antonio lost just one home game all year in 41 tries, but has lost two in this series alone.

This series isn’t over, but it feels like it’s slipping away from the Spurs, which might be 48 minutes away from saying goodbye to Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili forever.

Duncan, for the first time in his career, looks like he doesn’t have it. He has no elevation on shots or rebounds, he can't finish in the paint and the whole thing is just sad to watch. Duncan has scored just 17 points through five games in this series – he used to average that per game as a minimum.

As for Ginobili, one of the greatest sixth men of all time, he looks equally spent. Manu is averaging just 6.8 points per game in this series and has only reached double figures once.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City seems to have (at least temporarily) cured itself of the fourth-quarter blues. OKC, which entered this series with the most blown fourth-quarter leads in the NBA, out-executed the Spurs down the stretch in both Game 2 and Game 5, two crucial wins in the Alamo City. The sloppiness has receded, the discipline has increased, and the defense has been spectacular.

A few keys to a Game 6 win:

-Oklahoma City has found real success with the Kanter/Adams duo playing together down the stretch. San Antonio has struggled to match that size on the glass, especially with an aging Duncan not able to do what he once could. 

-Kevin Durant has done a good job on Spurs' sharpshooter Danny Green at times, but Green managed to get loose in Game 5. Green scored 20 points on 6-of-9 from deep. He kept the Spurs in the game while LaMarcus Aldridge struggled all night long. If the Thunder, specifically Durant, can turn Green's water back off in Game 6, you'd have to like the Thunder's chances.

-Speaking of Aldridge, is he tired? Aldridge's production has been on a steady decline ever since Game 2 and he shot just 6-of-21 in Game 5. Aldridge's finger has bothered him for much of the season, and he was noticeably grimacing in pain while adjusting it in Game 5. Whether it's fatigue or injury, Aldridge just hasn't looked quite right in the past couple of outings. The Spurs will likely need 30 from the former Blazer if they want to survive Game 6.

A couple of things to think about, as unpleasant as they might be: Game 6 could still be Durant's final home game in a Thunder uniform. It could also be the final game period for Duncan and/or Ginobili. Those things are stressful just to type, so nevermind. Disregard. Moving on...

The environment for Game 6 should be historically loud inside Chesapeake Arena. Thunder fans were so excited after Game 5 that hundreds drove out to the airport at 1 a.m. to greet the team as they got back. Keep in mind, this is just the second round of the playoffs.

Durant is right, the Thunder need to win one more game. Their reward for a potential triumph? A date with the Warriors. But as everyone's dad always says, you gotta beat the best to be the best. Game 6 would be a good start.  

As for Ginobili, one of the greatest sixth men of all time, he looks equally spent. Manu is averaging just 6.8 points per game in this series and has only reached double figures once.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City seems to have (at least temporarily) cured itself of the fourth-quarter blues. OKC, which entered this series with the most blown fourth-quarter leads in the NBA, out-executed the Spurs down the stretch in both Game 2 and Game 5, two crucial wins in the Alamo City. The sloppiness has receded, the discipline has increased, and the defense has been spectacular.

A few keys to a Game 6 win:

-Oklahoma City has found real success with the Kanter/Adams duo playing together down the stretch. San Antonio has struggled to match that size on the glass, especially with an aging Duncan not able to do what he once could. 

-Kevin Durant has done a good job on Spurs' sharpshooter Danny Green at times, but Green managed to get loose in Game 5. Green scored 20 points on 6-of-9 from deep. He kept the Spurs in the game while LaMarcus Aldridge struggled all night long. If the Thunder, specifically Durant, can turn Green's water back off in Game 6, you'd have to like the Thunder's chances.

-Speaking of Aldridge, is he tired? Aldridge's production has been on a steady decline ever since Game 2 and he shot just 6-of-21 in Game 5. Aldridge's finger has bothered him for much of the season, and he was noticeably grimacing in pain while adjusting it in Game 5. Whether it's fatigue or injury, Aldridge just hasn't looked quite right in the past couple of outings. The Spurs will likely need 30 from the former Blazer if they want to survive Game 6.

LaMarcus Aldridge Games 1/2: 33-of-44 shooting, 79 points
LaMarcus Aldridge Games 3/4/5: 22-of-60 shooting, 64 points

— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 11, 2016

A couple of things to think about, as unpleasant as they might be: Game 6 could still be Durant's final home game in a Thunder uniform. It could also be the final game period for Duncan and/or Ginobili. Those things are stressful just to type, so nevermind. Disregard. Moving on...

The environment for Game 6 should be historically loud inside Chesapeake Arena. Thunder fans were so excited after Game 5 that hundreds drove out to the airport at 1 a.m. to greet the team as they got back. Keep in mind, this is just the second round of the playoffs.

Thunder fans do it again! Another late night airport welcome home. #KevinDurant #NBACommunityAssist #WeAreThunder pic.twitter.com/z9L8LCj2BC

— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) May 11, 2016

Durant is right, the Thunder need to win one more game. Their reward for a potential triumph? A date with the Warriors. But as everyone's dad always says, you gotta beat the best to be the best. Game 6 would be a good start.  

","published":"2016-05-12T11:39:06.000Z","updated":"2016-05-12T12:52:30.000Z","summary":"

The Thunder did what they said couldn’t be done in Game 2 when they won in San Antonio. Then for an encore, Oklahoma City did it again in Game 5.

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