The Thunder clearly has neutralized Duncan — and did so even before Ibaka’s return. In Game 2, Duncan had 12 rebounds but scored just 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting. In the last three games, Duncan has made just 15 of 37 shots and averaged 13 points.
Duncan was having a renaissance playoffs. He averaged 17.3 points a game and shot 58 percent from the field against Dallas. He averaged 15.8 points a game and shot 53 percent from the field against Portland. But the Thunder is taking Duncan out of his game.
“They hit some tough shots, but I thought we kept touching them,” Perkins said. “We were challenging all their shots and keeping them out of the paint. Our shell was tight, and I thought we stuck with it. With San Antonio, you have to do it for 48 minutes.”
In two games in San Antonio, the Spurs’ Danny Green made 13 of 18 shots, including 11 of 15 on 3-pointers. He averaged 18.5 points a game. In two games in Oklahoma City, Green made four of 16 shots, including three of eight on 3-pointers. He averaged 5.5 points.
Is that home/road discrepancy typical for Green? In seven home games against Dallas and Portland, Green made 21 of 39 shots and averaged 8.3 points. In five road games against Dallas and Portland, Green made 15 of 33 shots and averaged 7.2 points. A little better at home. Green had three monster playoff games before the Thunder. Two at home (16 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Dallas, 22 points on 9-of-13 against Portland) and one on the road (17 points on 7-of-f-7 shooting at Dallas).
IBAKA’S IMPACT HUGE
San Antonio in two games with Ibaka sidelined: 117 points a game, 53.8 percent shooting, 66.7 shooting in the paint, 27 fast-break points total.
San Antonio in two games with Ibaka in the rotation: 94.5 points a game, 39.7 percent shooting, 46.3 shooting in the paint, three fast-break points total.
“They’re up in the passing lanes, they have starters and they have Serge in there, and their big guys back there who are protecting the rim, so they’re gambling a little more,” Duncan said. “They’ve turned that gambling into turnovers and took some fast-break points. I think they’re more comfortable with Serge and the rest of those big guys back there.”