As the San Antonio Spurs get ready to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, the moans from casual basketball fans is aimed at San Antonio once again. How can anyone enjoy watching a defensive minded basketball team bore their way into the NBA Finals? Of course, the response this year is that they will not play that type of basketball.
The Spurs have now won 18 games in a row, including eight in the first two rounds of the playoffs. They are a model franchise with four Championships in the last 12 years. Tony Parker, in 2012, had his best year as a pro and was complemented by long- time teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli. A cast that includes Richard Jefferson, Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson and DeJaun Blair has allowed the Spurs to balance their game and resulted, this year, in a tie for the best record in the league.
Nothing about this team speaks boring. They run their game like the best college programs in the country. Sure, they do not dunk as much or waste their energy with huge out of bounds shots, but they control the other team and score points. This Spurs team fast breaks, shoots three pointers and controls the paint. They average over 100 points a game and have four players scoring double digits every game in the playoffs.
During both the regular season and the postseason, the Spurs have averaged more points than the Thunder. They also averaged five more assists per contest. Greg Poppovich and company have the experience, and now the rest, to compete with the Thunder for the title. The Spurs plan to beat the Thunder at their own offensive game.
With what is likely to be the most exciting series in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Spurs look to win at their own game. Poppovich made sacrifices during the regular season to make sure that his older players, which include three-time final MVP Tim Duncan, have enough to make it through the postseason. If the Thunder hopes to stop them, they must check their egos at the door. Because, celebrating after an early three pointer exhibits enough hesitation for the Spurs to make it to the other basket.