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There’s a fun little quip that goes: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think we’ve reached the point in this series and our recent history with this Thunder team where we can safely stop expecting different results. The question is: will the team be sane enough to make some adjustments? Known as a brilliant tactician and in-game and between-game adjuster, in…

San Antonio 92, Oklahoma City 105 Series tied 2-2 Turnabout is fair play, and we have ourselves a series. And if you want to start making 2012 comparisons, by all means, do. Because this is a lot like 2012. Sure, the Spurs won their 2 games at home easier this year than in 2012, but the same things seemed to happen in Games 3 and 4, with the Thunder suddenly…

San Antonio 97, Oklahoma City 106 San Antonio leads series 2-1 Heeeee’s baaaaaack. Serge Ibaka made his miraculous return in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals and the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled right over the San Antonio Spurs. There is correlation, certainly, but to conflate the two is a bit reductive. Ibaka’s return helped OKC protect the rim much better AND Tony Parker had a miserable game, perhaps one…

Serge Ibaka and the Thunder made news in the interminable 3 days off between Games 2 and 3, upgrading his status from “out for the remainder of the playoffs” to “day-to-day”. This is a radical change for a serious injury, and one that make the Spurs seem prescient. The thought of a fully healthy Ibaka roaming the paint on D and swishing 18-footers on O is a provocative one, but…

Oklahoma City 77, San Antonio 112 San Antonio leads the series 2-0 The more things stay the same, the more they change. This isn’t your (slightly) older sibling’s Oklahoma City vs. San Antonio Western Conference Finals. As I’m sure has been written a hundred times, 2012 ain’t walking through that door. Serge Ibaka and James Harden ain’t walking through that door. Rookie Kawhi Leonard ain’t walking through that door. Playoff…

Oklahoma City 105, San Antonio 122 Spurs lead series 1-0 Along with the tired ‘old’ tag, a common misconception about these Spurs is that you want to make them run, to speed up the game, that they’re too old to keep up with the young legs. That’s just plain wrong. Theres’ nothing these Spurs want to do more than play with pace; pace is how they win games. The Spurs…

Both teams are back where they belong, looking to finish unfinished business. Over the last 3 years, these are the two best teams from the West, so it’s only fitting that they meet in the Western Conference Finals. For the Spurs, this journey began moments after their crushing defeat in Game 7 of the Finals last year. Anything less than a chance for a return to the Finals would be…

Portland 82, San Antonio 104 Spurs win series 4-1 That was the most gentlemanly Gentleman’s Sweep imaginable. Go up 3-0 to essentially end the series, but let the lower seeded team close down their building for the season and send their home crowd off with a victory. Before mercifully ending the series in Game 5. The Blazers played hard, but the writing was on the wall early, even as they…

San Antonio 92, Portland 103 San Antonio leads series 3-1 Sometimes it’s as simple as energy and desperation: who wants it more. Portland can surely see the writing on the wall, but badly wanted to give their great fans one last win, to hold their heads high. San Antonio would love a sweep, sure, but were never going to be able to summon the same intensity as this proud Blazers…

San Antonio 118, Portland 103 Spurs lead series 3-0 And that thorn is the San Antonio Spurs. (Sorry, I just can’t resist rose puns right now.) To paraphrase Zach Lowe on Twitter, The Spurs are just being bullies now. This is particularly evident in the first halves of these games, in which the Spurs have gone into intermission with 26, 19, and 20 point leads, respectively. Games can not be…