The San Antonio Spurs are on a new kind of streak after today; they have now lost three consecutive games in a row. Just a week ago, the Spurs won twenty straight games and looked seemingly invincible. One week later, they are now on the brink of elimination.
Could this finally be the passing of the torch?
The Thunder are now one win away from the NBA Finals. If the Thunder close out the game on Wednesday, they may be considered the automatic favorites to win the NBA Championship, and the youngest team to ever hold the Larry O’Brien trophy. Could the Thunder be growing up right before our eyes? Even in the midst of a ruckus San Antonio crowd, the Thunder’s young nucleus of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden combined for a total of 68 points and 20 assists.
But don’t count the Spurs out just yet.
The Dinosaurs in San Antonio aren’t ready to become extinct unless it’s on their own terms. Despite the devastating loss, the loquacious Stephen Jackson said, “If they can do it, we can do it. I’m not counting us out.”
The obvious solution for the San Antonio Spurs may simply be to cut down their turnovers. The Thunder forced the Spurs to commit 21 sloppy turnovers and some of them at the most crucial moments of the game.
If the Spurs simply protect the ball, they may be able to control the pace of the game much better. The Thunder are too athletic and too quick to give up easy transition buckets off of turnovers.
The good news for Oklahoma City is that 83% of the teams that win a Game 5, when the series is tied 2-2, eventually go on to win the entire series. And from the way that the Thunder just played, they have no plans of waiting their turn to win the NBA championship; they believe that their time is now.
The Spurs, however, are as proud as they are stubborn. If there is any team that can win on the road in a must-win Game 6, it is the San Antonio Spurs. After the game, Coach Gregg Popovich said, "Championship teams win on the road, and Oklahoma City just did that." Now, it is up to the Spurs to prove their championship pedigree by winning their next game on the road. And if they have anything to say about it, the torch will remain in San Antonio just one more year.