NBA Playoffs: Spurs vs. Thunder Preview

We Finally Get To See Spurs vs. Thunder

5/22/12 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

May 19, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;    San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with small forward Kawhi Leonard (2)  during the first half of game three of the Western Conference semi finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.  Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRELeonard has people raving about his defense through the playoffs thus far, but this next round will be a much tougher test when he takes on NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant. Just about everyone who attempts to guard Kevin Durant faces a mismatch. He crouches when dribbling and has the quickness of a guard, then rises with his incredible length to get to the rim like a 7 footer. He's listed at 6'9'', but many believe he's actually 6'10'' or 11''. Kawhi Leonard, at 6'7'', will have to deal with that size/quickness combination which will be his toughest task. Durant has faced off against the Spurs three times already this year. The first time he managed 21 points on only 9 shots, but the second time he only scored 22 on 19 shots, then scored 25 on 19. In none of those games did Durant reach his season average of 28 points, and I am very interested to see if Leonard can continue to keep Durant contained over the length of what looks to be a rigorous playoff series.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how 36 year-old Tim Duncan fares against the monsters in the paint for Oklahoma City. He did fine against the athletic combo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the series against the Clippers (averaged 21 points and 9.3 rebounds), but can he go another round against superior athletes at his age? Many people were critical of Duncan this season, thinking his career was on its last legs, but now he's got some of those critics thinking he's got a couple more solid years. Does he continue defying his age against Serge I-block-ya and Kendrick Perkins? It'll be interesting to see.

I want to pick a team to win this series, but I can't. All I can say is that I think it's going seven games. We're going to have some nail-bitting thrillers between these two clubs. Durant's ability in the clutch makes me want to lean towards the Thunder, but then again the Spurs look like the hottest team in the league right now. In addition, the Spurs have an entire week to rest Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili's old legs (Game 1 isn't until Sunday). Gregg Popovich is usually great at taking teams out of their game plans, but when the game plan is isolation and you have three players that are highly capable of doing it (Durant, Westbrook, Harden) it's tough to take it away. All I can say is that I can't wait for this series to start and I think it'll come down to Game 7.

PS - I'll be rooting for the Thunder. I want my favorite player, Kevin Durant, to get a ring for that Hall of Fame resume.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

5/23/12   |   evilquacks101   |   858 respect

I think this will be the best series in the play-offs................It's the Spurs that will have the home court advantage. The Thunder has the talent and youth on it's side and will try to wear down the Spurs. But the Spurs will have the experience and organizational advantage.
If everyone stays healthy on both sides............The Spurs should win this, but I wouldn't mind if OKC won this either.

5/22/12   |   rosa78014   |   2 respect

Go Spurs Go !!!!! age is nothing but a number and we have all the numbers we need #21, # 09 and # 21  Ooh and not yo mention coach of the year. Enough said. San antonio get ready to see that big flag on N. IH35 

5/22/12   |   Dream_Machine   |   13157 respect

Thunder In 7.