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  #1  
Old 05-22-12, 09:24 AM
esparzar1's Avatar
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Official Spurs vs Thunder Series thread!

Well boys and girls it’s time! The real NBA Championship starts this Sunday in San Antonio. The Spurs will host the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals in which some are building up to be an epic series. Let’s break down the teams and match-ups

PG Tony Parker vs Russell Westbrook.
This should lots of fun! Tony Parker has been the Spurs MVP all season long while Westbrook has really stepped up his game in the playoffs. This is a very intriguing match-up. You have two of the fastest PG’s in the game going head-2-head. Parker has mastered the pick and roll offense along with a nice floater and a solid 15-18 foot jump shot. Tony can have problems when teams take a page out of the Spurs notebook by clogging up the pick and roll scheme. The Spurs did a wonderful job with this against Chris Paul. I could possibly see some trouble if the Thunder employ the same strategy. On the other hand, Westbrook tends to let his emotions get the best of him. This can be a crucial key for the Spurs by letting this happen. Westbrook seems to excel with the transition jump shot and I believe the Spurs need to have the same mentality as they did with CP3. Basically, shut Westbrook down in the transition game by making him force the pass. This of course is easier said than done.

Advantage: Wash

SG Danny Green vs Thabo Sefolosha
Another intriguing match-up. Offensively speaking, DG is definitely the better player, while the slight edge defensively goes to Thabo. I’m not coach Pop but I really don’t see these two players going up against each other on a regular basis. I envision more of DG on Westbrook and Thabo on TP9. Green really has the opportunity to excel here if he can create his own shot and hit the consistent 3 point shot and make Westbrook or Thabo work defensively. To me, it makes more sense to have DG guard RW and Thebo guard TP9 to slow the opponents PG down. Make sense to you? Thabo doesn’t scare me much offensively and can get a bit too aggressive on the defensive side which can get him in to foul trouble. This will come in handy once Manu enters the game.

Advantage: Danny Green

SF Kawhi Leonard vs Kevin Durant
Welcome to the big leagues Rook! K. Leo has been a beast (for a rookie) this postseason. He has a huge task in front of him…..stopping the most gifted offensive player in the NBA. While I believe he can slow Durant down, there is no way he is shutting him down. I look at it this way, let Durant get his (while working very hard mind you) and shut everyone else down. Force Durant to work and take every shot. Don’t let him create for other players. IMO, this is the best option for the Spurs. It also helps to consider that the Spurs can throw SJax, Danny Green, and even Diaw at him thoughout the game. Durant will get his, but I guarantee the Spurs will make him work hard for everything. On the other side, Big Leo needs to just do what he’s been doing all along; hit the open 3 point shot and create havoc in the passing lanes.

Advantage: Durant

PF Boris Diaw vs Serge Ibaka
Yet another intriguing match-up. Ibaka is arguably the best shot blocker in the game while Diaw has rejuvenated his career in San Antonio. Ibaka doesn’t pose too much of a threat on the offensive side unless he’s getting put backs. He’s developed a semi-decent midrange shot but is still very inconstant. As long as Diaw “boxes out” and spreads the floor offensively; there should be a way to neutralize Ibaka both offensive and defensively. Diaw is playing some of his best ball that I’ve ever seen him play by using his high BBall IQ. I’d like to think this will continue against a good but still limited and young Ibaka.

Advantage: Diaw

C Tim Duncan vs Kendrick Perkins
Mr. “Old Faithfull” is at it again. This is the best Duncan has played in about 3 or 4 years. He seems eager to get the ring for his thumb at any cost. His jump shot has been great and post moves are always solid. Rebounding and help defense is consistent as always. What’s not to like about Timmy right now? Perkins on the other hand is a solid defender but can be a bit slow on rotations and stagnant on the offensive side of the ball and really has no O game to speak of. As long as Duncan continues to do what he’s been doing all along, he will be fine. This is a clear advantage in my opinion.

Advantage: Timmay!

Bench
We have two of the best 6th men in the league going at it! James Harder and Manu will cancel each other out. With that being said, we’ve already seen what Harden can do, on the flip side, Manu has yet to break out consistently. This is his series where it will happen! We will see the Manu of old explode! We have been waiting all year for this and I have a feeling it’s coming, and no one is gonna stop it.

Worst case scenario Manu and Harden cancel each other out, but when the likes of Jackson, Bonner, Neal and Tiago coming off the bench, watch out! It’s like 1 vs 5 in this case. OKC does have bench players not named Harden but I still believe this is a huge advantage for the Spurs. Heck, I believe the Clippers had a better bench the OKC. If the Spurs can hold their own against the Clippers bench, then they should dominate the Thunder bench…….just my 2 cent.

Advantage: Spurs

Coaching Popovich vs Brooks

The best Coach in the league against a young and hungry coach trying to get to the next level. Call me biased or ignorant but I seriously believe Scott Brooks is not that good of a coach and I’ve seen no one really mention this. Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I’m being blind and just counting them out? Coach Pop is gonna run circles around Brooks with in game adjustments. Not much to add to that statement.

Advantage: Coach Pop

Overall, I see this being a really exciting series with most of the games being really close. On paper, one unbiased fan might say the Thunder are the better of the two teams. But in my 20 years of watching the Spurs play, I’ve never, I repeat, NEVER have seen the Spurs play at this high of a level. No one can beat them in a 7 game series right now, unless they beat themselves. The Spurs will make quick work of the Thunder due to the hunger for one more ring. They’re more determined than ever and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Prediction: Spurs in 5
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Last edited by esparzar1; 05-22-12 at 09:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-22-12, 10:12 AM
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The Spur rep during these playoffs is that "they don't make mistakes".

That gets tested in this round because neither team has much margin for error. If the Spurs don't make mistakes, they can easily take OKC in 5. The Thunder must be nearly perfect to win the series, but they are capable of being nearly perfect.

Two teams with very similar organizational cultures. Great players and no jerks. Should be great fun!
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Old 05-22-12, 10:24 AM
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im worried about any injury... i believe if spurs manage to stay healty, is a close series... but SPURS IN 6...
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Old 05-22-12, 10:28 AM
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Not sure I buy that Harden and Manu cancel each other out. Harden has been pretty amazing all year while Manu has been hurt and has looked surprisingly ordinary during the first two rounds.

I don't think this is the difference-maker in this series (Spurs simply have too many weapons), but let's give the Thunder its due...
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Old 05-22-12, 10:34 AM
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yure right mckenna... i hope manu step up... but right now manu is not with harden... sorry

still... spurs has the best bench :-)
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The Spurs won because of Tim Duncan, a guy I could never break. I could talk trash to Patrick Ewing, get in David Robinson’s face, get a rise out of Alonzo Mourning, but when I went at Tim he’d look at me like he was bored and then say, “Hey, Shaq, watch this shot right here off the glass.” Shaquille O'Neal on Tim duncan.
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Old 05-22-12, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennaspur1 View Post
Not sure I buy that Harden and Manu cancel each other out. Harden has been pretty amazing all year while Manu has been hurt and has looked surprisingly ordinary during the first two rounds.

I don't think this is the difference-maker in this series (Spurs simply have too many weapons), but let's give the Thunder its due...
I was just about to say the same thing. Let's hope Manu gets back to himself in this series. Harden is going to be the key for OKC. We may see a lot of extra minutes for Green and KY, because I don't think the bench has anyone to guard Harden. Sjax is too slow and Manu has never been a great defender, mostly a gambler.
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Old 05-22-12, 11:11 AM
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maybe benching danny green and starting neal... and manu still the playmaker off the bench with danny playing every time harden plays...


or benching khawi lenard and starting s-jax...
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The Spurs won because of Tim Duncan, a guy I could never break. I could talk trash to Patrick Ewing, get in David Robinson’s face, get a rise out of Alonzo Mourning, but when I went at Tim he’d look at me like he was bored and then say, “Hey, Shaq, watch this shot right here off the glass.” Shaquille O'Neal on Tim duncan.
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Old 05-22-12, 11:17 AM
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So much for the fable of a staples center home and home clipper/laker western finals. That lasted about a new york minute. Ha ha ha!

This is the REAL NBA Finals in my opinion and the storyline for the Thunder is that they have a chance to be the team that has taken out every western conference finalist since 1999 to get to the finals.
Think about it, only the lakers, the mavericks, and the Spurs have been the Western representative to the Finals.

If you want to take a look at how to build a team in the NBA, the Spurs are the standard to behold. So what did okc do? They hired former Spur student, sam presti, and he drafted his own big three in durant, westbrook, and harden.

No teams have played better in this postseason than these two teams, but the prevailing theory is that the Spurs have played inferior competition, the jazz and the clippers who have not had stellar playoff experiences with their rosters, while the thunder had to sweep the mavs and nearly swept the lakers, two teams that have rosters with championship experience.

There is still also these three things that the propaganda driven espn still like to throw at the lemmings out there known as casual NBA fans.
1) The last 3 teams to sweep the first two rounds ended up getting eliminated in the 3rd round.
2) The Spurs were beaten in the first round by the grizzlies last year.
3) Even though the Spurs have been transformed from a defensive beast to an offensive juggernaut, the team is still viewed as "OLD" and even more tired diatribe, the word "boring" is still bandied about. Did you catch on the ABC pregame show prior to game three vs. the clippers that poster that had the Big Three under the heading Old West?

To debate those three points are easy. A) Peeping Gopher. PPINGOFR. Past Performance Is No Guarantee OF Future Results. In another words, who gives a rat's a$$ what happened to other NBA teams in the past playoffs? Pop doesn't even care about what happened the last game with his own team. He only cares about the NEXT game.

B) Yes, they were beaten by the grizzlies last year in the first round. Never mind that the Spurs had a hurt Manu and a hampered Parker and Duncan in that series. The Spurs won't make excuses, but what happened happened and this year, the "appropriate fear" was taken by the entire organization to change the makeup of this team, hill out, Leonard in, jefferson out, Jackson in. Then add Diaw and Mills to strengthen the depth of this roster and you get a team that has won 18 straight, but only cares about the NEXT game...

C)Tony Parker just turned 30 and people freaked out thinking he was much older than that.
Tim Duncan is 36 but has played like the Tim Duncan of old instead of an old Tim Duncan. What people don't get is that the reduced minutes during the regular season may have reduced Tim's production, but if you looked at his per minute stats, you would realize that Tim is performing at near his career averages. Now with his minutes up, you see the production. He has been simply amazing in these playoffs against a big jazz front line, and a thoroughly outclassed clipper frontcourt.
Manu at 34 seems to be biding his time these playoffs, but has had an effect on each series, in spurts. He has yet to imprint his signature on any series, but winning time is Manu time, and he has always been the clutch guy for this team. His time is now, and with Timmy and Tony, they have never been closer to getting the gold ball back to San Antonio. The thunder want it too, but this is where age is a plus. The opportunities for titles remain plentiful for durant, westbrook, and harden, while Tony, Manu, and Timmy know that there are but a precious few times left for them to raise the ball again.

I'd just like to add that the focus of changing this team from defense to offense, Pop has effectively softened the physical toll on his players and has added miles to Tim's gas tank as everyone knows defense takes a lot more out of you than offense.

I've typed plenty for now, so I'll get into matchups later, but for now, I agree with esparzar1, the Spurs in five in probably the same style the thunder did in the lakers, if not a straight sweep. I can do know worse than that boob izzy gutierrez on espn, who predicted twice that the Spurs would go to seven games in both series... But my advantage is that I have watched the Spurs intently since Elliott and Robinson's rookie year. I know this team. :imho Spurs in five.
__________________
NO NEED TO RUSH
Cutters are coming
Screens are being set
Pass is PINPOINT PERFECT
and somebody ends up WIDE OPEN
No Flash No Gimmicks NO CHANCE OF STOPPING IT
IT'S THE QUIET GUYS YOU SHOULD FEAR
because words are small and GAME IS BIG

GO GO!


I AM NINJA!
"We will either find a way, or make one."ť
~Hannibal~
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  #9  
Old 05-22-12, 11:37 AM
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i don't think Perkins guards Duncan to be honest. i can't imagine Scott Brooks putting Ibaka on the perimeter with Perkins in the paint.

still, Perkins is going to get outmatched somewhere, so i still agree with your analysis
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  #10  
Old 05-22-12, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose_TheGenius View Post
i don't think Perkins guards Duncan to be honest. i can't imagine Scott Brooks putting Ibaka on the perimeter with Perkins in the paint.

still, Perkins is going to get outmatched somewhere, so i still agree with your analysis
In the same token, can you imagine Perkins on the perimeter? There's no chance of that happening.
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Old 05-22-12, 02:35 PM
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Old 05-22-12, 02:53 PM
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I wouldn't argue with any of those picks. Barry's anti-Spur bias is getting hilarious, but he has personal reasons. Hollinger's call of the Spurs in 5 seems dramatic, particularly since Hollinger is such a numbers guy....

Setting my fan aspect aside (and just asking...), does anybody see any possibility of a Thunder sweep?
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Old 05-22-12, 03:45 PM
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Old 05-22-12, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennaspur1 View Post
I wouldn't argue with any of those picks. Barry's anti-Spur bias is getting hilarious, but he has personal reasons. Hollinger's call of the Spurs in 5 seems dramatic, particularly since Hollinger is such a numbers guy....

Setting my fan aspect aside (and just asking...), does anybody see any possibility of a Thunder sweep?
Yeah if we want to be in the history books. I'd love to see. If we win both hOme games to start and steal game 3, then yes I can honestly see a sweep
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Old 05-22-12, 04:19 PM
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Hollinger called it in 5 in his pre-playoffs predictions. So, he's sticking with his original call. And Gutierrez continues to be an idiot.
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Old 05-22-12, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by spurduncan21 View Post
Yeah if we want to be in the history books. I'd love to see. If we win both hOme games to start and steal game 3, then yes I can honestly see a sweep
Just so I'm clear...

If the Spurs win the first three games, you see a sweep.

If they don't, then no chance.

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Old 05-22-12, 05:27 PM
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I think, if we win the first 2 at home, and then 2 of the remaining games, we'll win the series.
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Old 05-22-12, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlamDunc21 View Post
I think, if we win the first 2 at home, and then 2 of the remaining games, we'll win the series.
I'm going to go out on a limb.
If the Spurs actually manage to lose only one of the first 2, and win the remaining best of five, they will play in the NBA Finals! The hell with the series. Finals or bust, baby!
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Old 05-22-12, 07:14 PM
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Old 05-22-12, 09:36 PM
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OK, Dr Dude. Explain yourself... (and keep in mind that I flunked high school calculus)
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  #21  
Old 05-23-12, 01:21 AM
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I posted this graph (from Ian Levy's work on hickory-high.com), so everybody can see what to expect from them offensively. For the comments, i'll just paste better analyses than mine would be:

Ian Levy:
Quote:
The Thunder are a team that found an offensive recipe completely different from the Spurs. They don’t rely on an efficient balance, but instead on individual excellence. Of their offensive outcomes that occurred at least 100 times, just 26.2% of their possessions were used on those three most efficient opportunities. The Thunder put together the second best offense in the league this season because they made the most of less efficient possession types. 55.5% of the Thunder’s possessions were used in isolations or as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll by Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook. Across the league these were some of the least efficient offensive outcomes, but Durant, Harden and Westbrook were all well above average in both possession types. Durant and Westbrook get most of the attention, but Harden’s efficiency blew the other two away. On possession types where the league average is just 0.78 points per possession, Harden scored 1.07 in isolations and 1.04 in the pick-and-roll.
Ian Levy (again):
Quote:
Russell Westbrook’s pick-and-roll possessions were among the least efficient offensive outcomes for the Thunder, but they averaged 0.86 points per possession roughly the same as Kobe’s isos, pick-and-rolls and post-ups. The Thunder have a similar balance to the Lakers but their offense produced more efficient results because they ran each of those options a little bit more effectively.
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Old 05-23-12, 04:53 AM
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a look at the Spurs possessions?

http://www.hickory-high.com/wp-conte...e-1024x696.png

Teams that score very efficiently generally tilt the balance towards more effective scoring opportunities. They also score at an above average rate on some of the possession types that are generally less effective. The Spurs are a perfect example. Looking at just their offensive outcomes which occurred at least 100 times this season, we are left with a total of 3558 possessions. 1952 of those possessions, or 54.8% were used by either cutters, spot up shooters or screeners in the pick and roll. Across the entire league just 45.9% of offensive outcomes came from those three possession types. The Spurs have found a way to significantly tilt that offensive balance in their favor. They also have managed to be more efficient than average with those less efficient opportunities. The Spurs had 7 different offensive outcomes that occurred at least 100 times that were on the bottom half of that efficiency list (Gary Neal – PnR Ball Handler, Tony Parker – PnR Ball Handler, Manu Ginobili – PnR Ball Handler, Tony Parker – Isolation, Tim Duncan – Post Up, Tiago Splitter – Post Up, DeJuan Blair – Post Up). Of those 7 different offensive outcomes, only three (Tim Duncan – Post Up, Tiago Splitter – Post Up, DeJuan Blair – Post Up) scored at a rate below the league average for that possession type.
__________________
NO NEED TO RUSH
Cutters are coming
Screens are being set
Pass is PINPOINT PERFECT
and somebody ends up WIDE OPEN
No Flash No Gimmicks NO CHANCE OF STOPPING IT
IT'S THE QUIET GUYS YOU SHOULD FEAR
because words are small and GAME IS BIG

GO GO!


I AM NINJA!
"We will either find a way, or make one."ť
~Hannibal~
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  #23  
Old 05-23-12, 10:18 AM
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Wow those ESPN picks had to be made at the beginning of the playoffs - evrthing they say now is all Spurs. Anyway - Game 1 will set the tone - the biggest difference is POp will overpower Scott and figure this out faster with a better TEAM game than the Thunder - I'll go for 5
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Old 05-23-12, 11:28 AM
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okay

wich of this "experts" was closer to the right call in previous rounds, (SA and if possible OKC) to narrow possible outcomes to that opinions...
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The Spurs won because of Tim Duncan, a guy I could never break. I could talk trash to Patrick Ewing, get in David Robinson’s face, get a rise out of Alonzo Mourning, but when I went at Tim he’d look at me like he was bored and then say, “Hey, Shaq, watch this shot right here off the glass.” Shaquille O'Neal on Tim duncan.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanCaca View Post
okay

wich of this "experts" was closer to the right call in previous rounds, (SA and if possible OKC) to narrow possible outcomes to that opinions...
Jon Barry called the sweep vs. the Clippers.....

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Old 05-23-12, 05:52 PM
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It's still "hero-ball" vs. "team ball". Even if this "hero-ball" isn't "delusional, selfish hero-ball", it's still based on iso's.

To me, the big X-factor in this series is Manu. He didn't play against the Thunder this year. And he's definitely, been a bit sub-par thus far in the playoffs (as compared to his past non-injury playoff campaigns).

If Manu plays at the same level as he has been, I see this being Spurs in 6 or 7. If he's closer to his old self, then I can see this being done in 5 games. He's had lots of open looks, esp. from 3, that he just isn't making. And since he ends up with the ball in his hands so much in late clock situations, improved performance from him will go a long way to dominating this series.
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Old 05-23-12, 10:17 PM
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The thing about this series is that it is more difficult no doubt since it is vs. higher seeding team. However the thing about this is that Oklahoma Thunder had yet to play away from their comfortable home court the first two games in the last 2 rounds.

Spurs will take FULL ADVANTAGE of HOME SWEET HOME advantage for first two games and STOMP OKC with 2 Spurs wins.

OKC would try to establish some rhythm in games 3 or 4 but Spurs will rise again and win on the road and take any thunder of little hope for the OKC.

All those who doubt my Spurs will finally bow to SMARTER DEEPER & Most important MORE EXPERIENCED Spurs team lead by the Big Three TD, TPMVP, and the GREAT MANU plus our deep bench and Leonard and Neal and Green!!!

By the way Chuck will be in SA but I believe Shaq being here is neutralizing Chuck in SA. I never thought I would say this but Shaq Rocks because Shaq>Chuck!

Spurs will Shock the World & DEMOLISH OKC.

Spurs never have any disrespect to any opponents. They are all good NBA Teams because they made the PO. But Spurs know they are the BETTER TEAM!!!

Go Spurs Go!
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LETS DO IT BABY! NO BS!! NO MERCY! ONE GAME AT A TIME. ONE SERIES AT A TIME.
WE WILL CLOSE THEM ALL!!!
FIRST ROUND VICTIMS = DOS MAVS!

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  #28  
Old 05-25-12, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by spurscrazed View Post
Spurs will Shock the World & DEMOLISH OKC.
I don't know if it will actually be a shock because thier the favorites to win, but I like your thinking....lol
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Old 05-25-12, 04:02 PM
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I don't know if it will actually be a shock because thier the favorites to win, but I like your thinking....lol
I think a five game SAS series would be a shock for the world.
Jon Barry may just fall over dead.
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Old 05-26-12, 08:57 AM
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I think a five game SAS series would be a shock for the world.
Jon Barry may just fall over dead.
Barry and 3 others picked the Thunder most other people as well as other sports sights (SI, FOX sports, etc) have the Spurs winning. I guess 5 games might be a little shocking but still not unexpecting.......gotta just take it one game at a time
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Old 05-28-12, 08:26 AM
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[b]With that being said, we’ve already seen what Harden can do, on the flip side, Manu has yet to break out consistently. This is his series where it will happen! We will see the Manu of old explode! We have been waiting all year for this and I have a feeling it’s coming, and no one is gonna stop it.
What did I say?!?!?!?!? I told you all that Manu was gonna explode!!!!!!!!!!!
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