San Antonio Spurs vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game 3 Preview

Raphael Haynes
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[author image=”” ]Raphael Haynes, Atlanta, GA @mrcontroversy21[/author]




Game 2 Review

There were a lot of ups and downs during a dramatic Game 2 between the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) and San Antonio Spurs this past Monday night. The Thunder came out from the jump on fire playing like they are capable of and fizzled out allowing the Spurs to come back like the Thunder are capable of. San Antonio started the game cold and down as many as 16 points. The 2014 Champs showed their composure by staying confident and causing the game to end on a thrilling but questionable play. The talk all week has been about Dion Waiters shoving Manu Ginobli with his elbow while trying to in-bound the ball which was stolen by the Spurs with six seconds left. The Spurs frantically ended up with an attempted three pointer that fell short followed by a scuffle for the loose ball which was recovered by the Thunder.

Keys To The Game

The Spurs have been here before so there should be no panic. As good as Kawih Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge have been, the veterans in Tim Duncan, Ginobli, Tony Parker and Boris Diaw should all step up and provide that Championship pedigree and experience which they will need on the road. It needs to be precise passing and a heavy dose of nonstop movement to keep the Thunder confused and gased on the defensive end. OKC on the other hand has to push the tempo. Now that they are at home, the reserves should play better and be loose out on the floor. From the start, they should dictate the flow of the game and don’t just make it the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook show (although they both need to have great games).

The X-Factor

The X-Factor for the Spurs is Boris Diaw. Diaw might be the smartest player on the Spurs. His basketball IQ makes up for the lack of athleticism. Diaw can score 12 points, six rebounds and five assist and still have a dominating affect on the game. How, do you ask; Diaw has a knack to create for others when he’s involved in the game. Not just with assist but with the “Hockey assists”. His ability to see the play before it happens causes for plays to develop and his underrated defense will be vital for San Antonio.

The X-Factor for the Thunder is Dion Waiters. Waiters can’t be non-existent and just depend on the forearm shiver. Since he’s the sixth-man off the bench, he has to be productive which will give Durant or Westbrook a lengthy rest and not have to rush back in without being fully rested. The mere fact that Waiter is usually viewed as an over confident player but is playing with less confidence than any other player in the playoffs proves why his production can make OKC very dangerous.

Prediction: This is usually when the thunder collapses, especially after a grand opportunity. For some reason I have a feeling in my gut that they win this game. Thunder wins 97-91

Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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