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The San Antonio Spurs ran into a buzzsaw against the Oklahoma City Thunder

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Friday 13 May 2016 at 6:58 am

Outside of 24-year old small forward Kawhi Leonard and 30-year old power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the San Antonio Spurs looked really old against the youthful Oklahoma City Thunder.  Aldridge played in 6 games (all starts) against the Thunder and he averaged 37.4 minutes, 26.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocked shots per game.  He shot an impressive 52.5% from the floor and 88.6% from the free throw line in this series.  Leonard also started all six games against the Thunder and he averaged 35.5 minutes, 23.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 blocked shots per game.  33-year old point guard Tony Parker played hard, but he was overmatched by Russell Westbrook.  Parker started all six games in this series and he averaged 29.2 minutes, 10.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.  28-year old shooting guard Danny Green stepped up in this series for the Spurs.  He started all 6 games against the Thunder and he averaged 30.7 minutes, 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.  Green shot 50% from the floor and he was also 18 of 34 (52.9%) from the three point line in this series!  38-year old shooting guard Manu Ginobili and 40-year old center Tim Duncan both looked their age in this series.  Ginobili played in all 6 games off the bench in this series and he averaged 19.4 minutes, 6.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.  Duncan started all 6 games against the Thunder and he averaged 22.9 minutes, 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.  He only shot 35.9 from the floor and 66.7% from the free throw line in this series.  The Spurs played hard, just not good enough to beat the Thunder in this series.

Game #6: Oklahoma City Thunder 113, San Antonio Spurs 99

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Game Recaps,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Friday 13 May 2016 at 6:48 am

The San Antonio Spurs didn’t have much of a chance against the Thunder in OKC last night.  Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Spurs last night with 22 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.  Tim Duncan stepped up his game last night as he finished up with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot in 34 minutes on the floor.  LaMarcus Aldridge also had a good game with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot.  The Spurs lost to the Thunder in six games in this series.

Game #5: Oklahoma City Thunder 95, San Antonio Spurs 91

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Game Recaps,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Wednesday 11 May 2016 at 8:28 am

The San Antonio Spurs had a chance to win last night.  But, with them down 1 point, Tony Parker missed a jump shot with just a few seconds left in the game.  Then at the other end of the court, Russell Westbrook got fouled on a lay up that he made and then he stepped up to the free throw line and put the Spurs away!  Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Spurs last night with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals.  LaMarcus Aldridge only shot 6 of 21 from the floor last night, but he finished up with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot.  Danny Green had by far his best game in the playoffs for the Spurs this year last night.  He shot 7 of 10 from the floor and 6 of 9 from three point range last night as he finished up with 20 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot in 29 minutes on the floor.  The Spurs are now down 3-2 to the Thunder in this series.

Tim Duncan has been the Invisible Man in the playoffs for the San Antonio Spurs

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Need to step up,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Monday 9 May 2016 at 1:53 pm

40-year old center Tim Duncan could be near the end of his career for the San Antonio Spurs, as he is running on fumes so far in the playoffs.  He has played in 4 games (all starts) against the Thunder so far in this series and he is averaging 18.8 minutes, 3.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.  He is only 6 of 19 (31.6%) shooting from the floor so far in this series and he is 0 for 2 (0.0%) from the free throw line.  Duncan has now played in 8 games (all starts) for the Spurs so far in the playoffs this year and he is averaging 19.5 minutes, 4.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 blocked shots per game.  Duncan is only shooting 43.8% from the floor and 63.6% from the free throw line in the playoffs so far.  I don’t think that Duncan will have a farewell tour……as we might be seeing it right now.

The San Antonio Spurs are getting propelled by this trio of players

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Steppin Up,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Monday 9 May 2016 at 1:49 pm

30-year old power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, 24-year old small forward Kawhi Leonard and 33-year old point guard Tony Parker are leading the way for the San Antonio Spurs against the Thunder.  Aldridge has started all 4 games against the Thunder and he is averaging 38.3 minutes, 30.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.3 blocked shots per game.  He is shooting 59% from the floor, he is 2 for 3 (66.7%) from three point range and he is hitting 88.5% from the free throw line so far in this series!  Leonard has played in 4 games (all starts) in this series and he is averaging 34.2 minutes, 22.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game.  Leonard is shooting 49.3% from the floor, 30.8% from three point range and 77.8% from the free throw line so far in this series.  Parker has stepped up to the challenge that Russell Westbrook is presenting to the Spurs.  Parker has started all 4 games against the Thunder and he is averaging 30.0 minutes, 12.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.  He is shooting a rock solid 50% from the floor in this series.  The Spurs are going to been big time performances from all three of these guys if they want to prevail over the Thunder in this series!

Game #4: Oklahoma City Thunder 111, San Antonio Spurs 97

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Game Recaps,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Monday 9 May 2016 at 6:32 am

The San Antonio Spurs were outscored 34-16 in the 4th quarter last night and it did them in!  Tony Parker led the way for the Spurs last night with 22 points, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot last night.  Kawhi Leonard (21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals) and LaMarcus Aldridge (20 points and 6 rebounds) also had solid games for the Spurs last night.  Boris Diaw pitched in with 11 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.  The Spurs and Thunder are now all tied up at 2 games apiece in this series.

Game #3: San Antonio Spurs 100, Oklahoma City Thunder 96

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Game Recaps,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Saturday 7 May 2016 at 6:41 am

The San Antonio Spurs shot a red hot 10 of 19 (52.6%) from three point range and it was a factor in a huge road win last night!  Kawhi Leonard put on a show for the Spurs last night as he led the way with 31 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot.  LaMarcus Aldridge had another rock solid game with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot.  Tony Parker had his best game of the series as he finished up with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.  The Spurs are now up 2-1 on the Thunder in this series.

Game #2: Oklahoma City Thunder 98, San Antonio Spurs 97

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Game Recaps,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Tuesday 3 May 2016 at 6:48 am

The San Antonio Spurs just couldn’t finish the deal last night against a motivated Thunder squad!  LaMarcus Aldridge was on fire again last night, as he shot 15 of 21 from the floor, 1 of 1 from three point range and 10 of 10 from the free throw line!  He finished up with 41 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots in this game.  Kawhi Leonard got outplayed by Kevin Durant this time around, as he finished up with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots.  Manu Ginobili pitched in with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot in 22 minutes off the bench.  The Spurs are now tied up at one game apiece with the Thunder as the series shifts to Oklahoma City.

Game #1: San Antonio Spurs 124, Oklahoma City Thunder 92

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Game Recaps,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Sunday 1 May 2016 at 7:48 am

The San Antonio Spurs smoked the Thunder last night, as this game was over very quickly.  The Spurs were up 105-66 after three quarters last night, before calling off the dogs!  The Spurs shot 60.7% from the floor and 60% from three point range last night, which was amazing to watch!  LaMarcus Aldridge was awesome last night, as he led the way for the Spurs with 38 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocked shots in only 30 minutes on the floor.  He shot an amazing 18 of 23 (78.3%) from the floor last night!  Kawhi Leonard was also pretty darn awesome last night on both ends of the basketball court.  He had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in only 22 minutes on the floor!  He shot a blazing 1o of 13 (76.9%) from the floor.  Danny Green filled up the stat sheet with 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocked shots last night.  Tony Parker only scored 2 points in 27 minutes on the floor, but he also had 4 rebounds and 12 assists!  13 different players scored for the Spurs last night and no one played more than 30 minutes.  The Spurs are now up 1-0 in this series!

San Antonio Spurs (4-0) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (4-1)

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,The NBA Playoffs by joelapinski on Thursday 28 April 2016 at 3:25 pm

No more tomato cans for the San Antonio Spurs or the Oklahoma City Thunder.  This should be an outstanding series, as these are two of the most talented basketball teams in the world!  Here is a look at the matchups in this series:

POINT GUARD:  33-year old point guard Tony Parker is one of the best big game players at his position, but he’s getting a little older.  He played in 4 games (all starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 22.3 minutes, 9.8 points, 1.0 rebound and 4.8 assists per game.  Parker is going to have to play more minutes than he has in a long time in this series and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.  27-year old Russell Westbrook is a beast on the basketball court.  He is an outstanding player at both ends of the court.  He played in 5 games (all starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 35.9 minutes, 26.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

EDGETHUNDER

SHOOTING GUARD:  28-year old Danny Green‘s big contribution to the Spurs is his long range shooting.  But he runs hot and cold.  He started 4 games against the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 20.8 minutes, 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game.  24-year old Andre Roberson of the Thunder has the same skill set as Green does, except he’s not as good.  He played in 5 games (all starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 23.3 minutes, 3.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocked shots per game.

EDGE SPURS

SMALL FORWARD:  This is going to be fascinating to watch.  24-year old Kawhi Leonard vs. 27-year old Kevin Durant!  The Defensive Player of the Year vs. one of the best offensive players in the NBA.  Something has to give!  Leonard will work Durant hard at both ends of the court, which not many guys can do.  Leonard played in 4 games (all starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 31.5 minutes, 21.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.8 blocked shots per game.  Leonard shot a red hot 52.7% from the floor, 61.1% from three point range and 94.4% from the free throw line in the first round of the playoffs.  Durant played in 5 games (all starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 38.3 minutes, 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.  But, he only shot 36.8% from the floor and 26.8% from three point range against the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.

EDGEEVEN

POWER FORWARD:  30-year old LaMarcus Aldridge will likely be asked to do more offensively in the second round of the playoffs, but that will be easier said than done against 26-year old Serge Ibaka.  Aldridge played in 4 games (all starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 28.3 minutes, 14.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 1.8 blocked shots per game.  He will be the Spurs’ #2 option on offense, behind Kawhi Leonard.  Serge Ibaka had a reputation as a defense first, rebounder coming into the 2015-16 season.  But his game has evolved and he has turned into a pretty good long range shooter.  He started all 5 games in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 32.3 minutes, 12.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocked shots per game.

EDGESPURS

CENTER:  The Spurs are going to need 40-year old Tim Duncan to up his minutes in this series.  He started all 4 games in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 20.3 minutes, 5.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocked shots per game.  It will be interesting to see how well Duncan can play in this series, because he’s going to be tested.  22-year old Steven Adams is a player I really like.  He does all the dirty work around the rim.  He played in 5 games (all starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 27.6 minutes, 9.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.

EDGEEVEN

BENCH:  This is where the Spurs usually have a huge advantage over their opponents.  27-year old point guard Patty Mills and 38-year old Manu Ginobili give the Spurs a big jolt of energy when they come onto the basketball court.  Mills played in 4 games (0 starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 19.5 minutes, 10.5 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steal per game.  Ginobili played in 4 games (0 starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 19.0 minutes, 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.  34-year old Boris Diaw an literally play any of the five positions on the basketball court.  He played in 4 games (0 starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 20.5 minutes, 6.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.  This series is why 35-year old power forward David West took less money to play for the Spurs!  He wants a ring so bad that he left $11 million bucks in salary on the table to sign with the Spurs.  West has played in 4 games (0 starts) so far in the playoffs this year and he averaged 18.0 minutes, 6.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game.  I look for the Spurs to tighten up the bench for this series, so I don’t expect Kyle Anderson, Kevin Martin, Boban Marjanovic, Jonathan Simmons or Andre Miller to play much in this series, unless one of the guys in the rotation get hurt.

Outside of 23-year old center Enes Kanter and 24-year old shooting guard Dion Waiters, the Thunder don’t use their bench much.  Kanter is an offensive machine, as he comes onto the court with the idea of scoring.  He played in 5 games (0 starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 20.5 minutes, 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.  He shot 29 of 41 (70.7%) from the floor in the first round of the playoffs!  Waiters also gives the offense a jolt when he comes into the game.  He played in 5 games (0 starts) in the first round of the playoffs and he averaged 26.4 minutes, 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.  Anthony Morrow, Randy Foye and Nick Collison played in every game in the first round of the playoffs, but none of them added much production for the Thunder.  Kyle Singler, Cameron Payne, Josh Huestis and Nazr Mohammed will be watching more than playing in this series.

EDGESPURS

COACHING:  67-year old Gregg Popovich is quite simply the best head coach in the NBA.  He knows his players and the matchups better than any coach.  Popovich is now 152-94 (61.8%) during the playoffs in his NBA career and he has won five NBA Championships!  Billy Donovan of the Thunder is 4-1 (80%) in his career in the playoffs.

PREDICTION:  I think this is going to be one of the best playoff series ever!  I think the Thunder will win in seven very hard fought games!

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