Everyone was there. Everyone was healthy. No one could stop the San Antonio Spurs.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were absolutely manhandled by the Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals, 124-92.
For the Spurs, Gregg Popovich and company showed the world that they will be just fine after Tim Duncan and the other aging stars retire, as Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 63 points in the win.
For the Thunder, they need to get it together and fast. With Kevin Durant approaching free agency, the team needs to rally together and win this series. Losing four games to the Spurs could mean losing Durant this offseason, and if Durant jumps ship, Russell Westbrook, who didn’t shoot well at all in the loss, probably won’t be too keen on remaining in OKC after next season.
The worst part of the night for the Thunder was Westbrook’s shooting. Sure, 5-of-19 happens, but Westbrook was a dismal 3-of-11 in the restricted area of the paint—mainly layups.
“A lot of my shots I missed at the basket against the bigs,” said Westbrook after the game. “I was able to get to my spots, just missed some layups.”
“I think he did get to the rim, and he got to the paint,” said head coach Billy Donovan. “I have confidence that Russell can finish those shots. I thought at times we had really bad spacing that made it easy for them to rotate. I think Russell’s athleticism, getting to the rim, those are makeable shots for him, with where he was getting to.”
The other problem for the Thunder was the lack of assistance from the bench and supporting cast. Serge Ibaka led the way with 19 points (although the majority of those came in garbage time), Cameron Payne shot 1-of-6, and Dion Waiters was only in for 16 minutes.
The Spurs are loading everything on Durant and Westbrook because they can. Pop feels no one else on the Thunder will be able to beat them, and maybe he’s right. That’s the basis of the problem that OKC has had for years now. If the Thunder can’t get it together, they may as well start begging and leaving presents in KD’s locker for the last few games.