The San Antonio Spurs have been on long winning streaks before.
And the Thunder has made a habit of snapping them.
Remember earlier this season, when San Antonio rolled into Oklahoma City on an 11-game tear? The Thunder easily broke the Spurs run then, leading for the final 20 minutes of that game.
And how about a flashback to the 2012 Western Conference Finals? The Spurs had rattled off an improbable 20 in a row — 10 to close out the regular season and 10 to begin the playoffs.
They looked nearly unbeatable. Then the Thunder beat them four straight times
And now, with the Spurs coming to Oklahoma City on Thursday amidst another impressive stretch – 19 straight, and counting – the question moves beyond whether the Thunder can spoil another streak.
The deeper, more pertinent development is OKC’s recent dominance of San Antonio. Since the Thunder flipped the script back in late May 2012, San Antonio is 2-9 against OKC and 129-41 against everybody else. This season, the Spurs are 0-3 versus OKC and 59-13 against the rest of the league.
Is there something within this matchup – the most likely Western Conference Finals pairing – that gives OKC such a decided edge? Can they keep dominating the team that dominates everybody else?
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Fisher said of the recent history. “Tomorrow’s game has absolutely nothing to do with what we’ve done against them in the past and any games we play against them in the future.”
Probably a wise mindset for the Thunder. But not for those who follow and cover the league.
Because history can be the best predictor of what lies ahead. And the past tells us that some things within this matchup seem to line up well for OKC.
For one, San Antonio doesn’t seem to have anyone with a chance of corralling the Thunder’s talented and powerful point guard combo.