Can someone help me figure out this series? Should we just annul tomorrow’s game 6 and stay in San Antonio for a 7th game? So far, the western conference finals have flipped and flopped, the winner of each game is whoever is playing at home. And each time the final buzzer sounds, it’s a large margin of victory; last night was no different. The Spurs bounced back from their two game slide and handled the Thunder in impressive fashion, winning a key game 5 as the series goes back to Oklahoma City. As we’ve heard in the past countless times, the winner of game 5 when a series is tied at 2 games each, usually goes on to win the series. But what’s been hiding a bit better is that most of the time, this occurs in game 6. Can that happen for the Spurs? It might, but first let’s get to last night’s action and figure out how the Spurs were able to turn things around in such a big way. It had to have been more than just the home court advantage, right? Not as much as one would think. I think? It’s still hard for me figure out what’s going on. I feel like it’s mostly adjustments countering with more adjustments. It’s just surprising that OKC has made just as many smart moves as the Spurs have. Last night the Spurs made a brilliant move, going with a smaller line up to neutralize the Thunder’s high-tempo game and challenging them on offense and defense. San Antonio pretty much said “hey, we can play fast too!” and it worked beautifully. Tim Duncan had the big game (22 pts, 12 reb) but it was clear that last night was an old-school Spurs’ type of win, defined by team efforts and key contributions from unexpected sources. Last night it was the likes of Boris Diaw and Danny Green. Did I mention that the Spurs shot 50% (50!) from 3-point land? The young guns of OKC were a bit taken back by the Spurs’ tactics and after the second quarter, San Antonio had built enough momentum to turn the game into a rout. Yes, Oklahoma City has tons of trouble handling the Spurs shooting barrage on defense but their ineffective play on offense is what really hindered them. Ibaka (the Spurs killer) had a solid game on defense but wasn’t able to score like he had in the previous two games. The Thunder started off hot, thanks to their stars Durant and Westbook, but they weren’t able to keep pace, something that they’d controlled but was turned on them last night. Can the Thunder defend their home court and force a game 7? The history of this series says yes. But what this series has shown us is that when we think it’s going to zig, it zags instead. Momentum is all on the Spurs side and I have a feeling that it’s going to stay there. Then again, what neutral fans don’t want to see a game 7? We’ll have to wait and see.
Big game tonight in the eastern conference finals. Wasn’t able to discuss the game yesterday because of a family affair but i’m here to preview it. I’ll be watching this game pretty closely tonight. Partly because i’m running a 5k tomorrow morning and should stay in, but more so because i’m excited to see this game. How will the Heat, and more specifically LeBron, respond at home? King James suffered through Lane Stephenson’s antics and that, combined with foul trouble, kept the league’s best player to a modest performance in game 5. What do I expect? LeBron and Heat to unleash hell on the Pacers. The Pacers love to impose their will and play a style that frustrates the other team, but so far in these playoffs, it’s come back to bite them in the ass. Can Indiana handle the pressure and force the action home for a 7th and deciding game? I don’t see it. Despite limiting LeBron to the worst performance in a long time, Miami was in the game until the final minute. It’s not enough for Indiana to just win the game. They have to impress and show that they’re capable of beating Miami on the road in a big way for anyone to believe that they’re capable of winning not just the series, but the title as well. Heat rout and join some elite teams.