Thunder-Spurs: This 0-2 hole feels nothing like the one OKC faced in 2012

COMMENTARY — The Thunder comes home trailing 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals, which might prompt some to say ‘been there, done that.’ But Oklahoma City has never been beaten like this before
by Berry Tramel Published: May 22, 2014

SAN ANTONIO — Been here before, the Thunder kept saying. Been down 0-2 to the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

Everyone wanted to hark back to the salad days of 2012, when the Thunder stormed to four straight victories to reach the NBA Finals. Heck, the Spurs kept saying it, too.

But here’s where the Thunder never has been before. Beaten this badly. Undressed like this. Whipped 112-77 Wednesday night by a San Antonio squad that made the Thunder look inept offensively, two days after doing the same to the Thunder defense.

This doesn’t feel anything like 2012.

“We’re disappointed,” Scotty Brooks said of the shellacking at AT&T Center. “It definitely doesn’t feel good, and it shouldn’t. We got our butts kicked.”

You can’t blame this on Serge Ibaka’s strained calf. Sure, Ibaka would have helped with the again-porous defense, which has allowed the Spurs to score at least 30 points in five of the seven quarters that matter in this series (the fourth quarter Wednesday night was a virtual preseason game). But instead of correcting the defense in Game 2, the Thunder just added offense to its fix-it list.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both were ineffective, combining to make 13 of 40 shots and take only five foul shots. The Thunder didn’t reach 20 points in any of the final three quarters. The Thunder seemed dazed and confused with the ball, which is a bad combination when your defense leaks.

“When you’re playing a team like (the Spurs), who is getting on a little bit of a roll, you really have to get good shots, and we didn’t get the best shots,” said Nick Collison. “You’re kind of throwing gas on the fire. We have to be better. I think that’s obvious.”

When the Thunder left San Antonio after Game 2 in 2012, it was angry. The Thunder had lost two decent games, 101-98 and 120-111. The Spurs controlled both games, but the Thunder wasn’t that far off. These Spurs have won two straight by blowout. This Thunder team goes home clueless how to deal with the Spurs.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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