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OKC Thunder: Spurs' Danny Green dominates shooting guard matchup with Thabo Sefolosha

Through two games and two brutal double-digit Thunder losses – the latest a 112-77 dismantling by the Spurs on Wednesday night – OKC has lost nearly every matchup on the floor. But nowhere has it been more apparent than the starting shooting guard position.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 22, 2014

/articleid/4845264/1/pictures/2673128">Photo - San Antonio's Danny Green (4) celebrates his 3-point shot in front of Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) during Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps
San Antonio's Danny Green (4) celebrates his 3-point shot in front of Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) during Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps

He shot 31 percent from three in the regular season and has been worse in the playoffs, making only 6-of-22 (27 percent). And on the defensive end, he’s been uncharacteristically exposed.

Sefolosha’s two primary targets, the red-hot Green and the slippery Tony Parker, were the Spurs two leading scorers on Wednesday. He lost Green on a few long-range daggers and Parker on a few drives.

“I don’t quite know,” Sefolosha said, talking about Green’s barrage of threes. “You know, I think we made an emphasis on not giving up too many points inside. And that’s how he got a lot of them on rotation, just being a little too slow.”

Because of his struggles, Sefolosha has been limited to only 26 minutes in two games. On Wednesday, he played the first seven minutes of the first half before getting pulled until the break. Then, after three ineffective minutes to start the second half, he was pulled for good.

And now the Thunder is desperate, backs against the wall against a potent Spurs team. The last time that was the case for Brooks – down 3-2 to the Grizzlies in Memphis – he pulled Sefolosha from the starting lineup, saying he needed more offense.

This time, will Brooks pull the trigger again? We’ll know Sunday. But a 37-0 point disparity at the starting shooting guard spot likely calls for some examination.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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