There lots of comparisons between the Thunder and the Spurs, current combatants in the Western Conference. The most common comparison is the Big Three nature of both teams.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden for the Thunder. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili for the Spurs.
A lottery-luck superstar with all the attributes you want to build a franchise around. A wonderfully-skilled point guard unlike any other in the league. And a left-handed sixth man who can score through a keyhole. But a day after leading the Spurs to a 101-98 victory in Game 1, Ginobili wasn’t really buying the comparisons.
“We never had those kinds of legs and athleticism,” Ginobili said Monday at the Spurs’ training facility. “They are just amazing. Their strength, their speed. And they can all shoot, too.”
The Thunder trio is all under 24. The Spur trio is all over 30.
“We were just a different kind of players,” Ginobili said. “But of course, they have a bright, bright future ahead of them. They are really impressive. For being 22 and 23 years old, they are incredible.”
Both Harden and Westbrook struggled in Game 1. Westbrook made just seven of 21 shots and finished with 17 points. Five of his points came in the final 90 seconds, when the Spurs had the game in control. Harden made seven of 17 shots and finished with 19 points, but Harden made two 3-pointers in the final four seconds.
“Harden shot pretty well,” Ginobili said. “He wasn’t as successful attacking the rim, which we expect he will do more. Westbrook will attack even more.
“But even if they had great games, they were going to do it because that’s who they are. That’s their nature. They are very aggressive. They’re all scorers, and they do it really well. Regardless of what they did the previous game, we know they’re going to come to get the win, force the issue, try to get fouls and attack the rim.”