San Antonio Spurs forward Boris Diaw raised eyebrows after Game 2 against the Thunder when he told reporters he thought Oklahoma City gave up early in that game.
On Friday, the Thunder responded.
“He can say what he want to say. They had a little run,” said Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. “And he might be right, but he still need to worry about what the Spurs doing.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks dismissed Diaw’s claim.
“He’s entitled to his opinion,” Brooks said. “One of the things I know about our team as well as anybody, we’re not quitters. We don’t give up. If he feels like we quit, that’s on him. But I know we’re here for a reason.
“We’re a good basketball team. Did we play well? Absolutely not. We’re all disappointed in the way we played. We all could have done a better job, including myself. But we’re looking forward to Sunday to get back out there and lace it up and play much better and give a better 48-minute performance.”
With the Thunder trailing by 29 points with 1:47 remaining in the third quarter, Brooks pulled guard Russell Westbrook and forward Kevin Durant for good.
SPURS NOT SURPRISED BY IBAKA NEWS
The Spurs never thought Thunder forward Serge Ibaka would miss any time in the Western Conference Finals.
So naturally, they weren’t surprised to hear the news that his left calf strain has healed enough that there is a possibility he could now return to this series.
“Big surprise for us,” Spurs forward Danny Green sarcastically told San Antonio reporters. “We prepared for this series as if he were going to play Game 1. We didn’t think he was going to be out long, if at all. Day-to-day means he’s probably going to be back.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich responded with an equal amount of sarcasm.
“Shocked,” he said. “So surprised. Like I told you from the beginning, I knew Sammy (Presti). We knew he’d be back. And that’s good. Nobody would wish it on anybody to miss the playoffs. We’ve had guys miss playoffs before, and it’s obviously a downer. So if he gets back in, and I’m sure he will as I’ve said from the beginning, I think it’s great.”
TONY ALLEN CALLS OUT STEVEN ADAMS, KEVIN DURANT
Memphis guard Tony Allen had plenty to say about the Thunder during a radio segment Friday.
Asked how much he hated Thunder center Steven Adams on a scale of one to 10, Allen made it clear that he doesn’t appreciate the way Adams plays the game. Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph was suspended for Game 7 for what the NBA ruled was a punch to Adams’ jaw in Game 6.
“Oh, man. I’m almost over that, man,” Allen said. “I’m like 50. I’m like 50 right now. Because that’s one of his tactics. You don’t have to just play. That’s a measly guy. You don’t have the shine to do that. You guys up throwing cheap shots, things of that nature.
“It’ll catch back up with him. Somebody gonna probably hit him and it’s not gonna be a push next time. He better be careful who he doing that stuff to. You know what I mean? It’s for real. If Z-Bo would’ve really punched him, he would have been, you know…”
The radio host said, “Out?”
“Exactly,” Allen said. “He playing those cheap shot games. It’s gonna catch up with him.”
Allen was then asked about Durant. Although complimentary, Allen shared his thoughts on how Durant could be more dangerous.
“I think if Kevin Durant had the mentality that three things are going to happen, I’m going to score, get fouled or get an assist, and put the pressure on (defenders) like Westbrook, his mentality, I think the series go a whole different way,” Allen said. “I don’t think Durant be aggressive enough. It should be smooth sailing for him...I just think he gifted. He’s 6-10 with a jumper like that and a handle like that. I just believe you could put more pressure on a defense.”
STAT OF THE DAY
San Antonio has outscored Oklahoma City by 52 points in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that is the largest scoring differential in the history of the first two games of a conference finals.
Brooks after Game 1 on Ibaka — “Contrary to what San Antonio was thinking, he’s not coming back. He’s not coming through those doors. He’s not coming back. He’s not coming back.”
Presti on Friday on Ibaka’s recovery — “His progress in the last several days has been surprising. I don’t think any of us thought we’d be standing here talking about this. We’re grateful that we are. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to have him back. But we also can’t definitively say he’s going to miss the entire postseason, either.”