Down 2-0 last Tuesday, there were only a few who gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a chance against the San Antonio Spurs. In NBA history, 94% percent of teams to take a 2-0 series lead ended up winning the series.
Well…. time for the that percentage to lower just a little bit.
The Thunder not only came roaring back down 2-0, they were down by 15 at halftime. The Spurs weren’t likely to go quiet. They didn’t. But Oklahoma proved that they are ready to take the next step. They beat the only three teams to make it to the NBA finals out of the west since 1998: The Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and now, the San Antonio Spurs.
They say the last game is the hardest to win. Especially when the other team is backed against the wall. They start playing desperately and to the absolute max of their abilities. But Oklahoma countered in the second half playing to the very best of their abilities outscoring the Spurs 59-36. With their fans behind them, Oklahoma seemed to suck every last ounce of life out of the Spurs in that second half. That’s why you have to play four quarters and win four games. Games 1 and 2 mean nothing now except that the Spurs won 10 playoff games in a row and then lost four in a row at the worst possible time.
Could we be seeing a new dominant team rising out of the Mid-west? Quite possibly.
They said the Thunder lacked the experience to get past all three teams they defeated. I buy that to an extent. But a team without experience has to begin somewhere, so why not begin by beating the three most dominant teams in the west for the last 14 years?
Seems like an excellent place.
Then to finish it off, why not beat the history-rich Boston Celtics, or the Darth Vader of basketball in LeBron James, and the Miami Heat to claim your first title? That would be a most excellent place to solidify your place among the NBA’s elite.