As soon as the full time of Game 6 of the Western Conference semi-finals between Oklahoma City and San Antonio sounded, I was telling anyone who was talking about the playoffs (I’ll be honest… not many around me were!) that the Thunder would knock off the Golden State Warriors and reach the NBA Finals to take on Cleveland (come on, who’s really gonna pick the Raptors?!?).
The way the Thunder, and in particular Russell Westbrook, closed out the Spurs I couldn’t see how they would be beaten 4 games out of 7. I don’t think enough credit has gone to Billy Donovan for what he’s been able to get out of this group of players who have drastically underachieved for a few seasons now. With Westbrook playing like an MVP (and it took an historic season from Curry to deny him that award) next to the ever consistent Kevin Durant that look unstoppable. I’ve never been a huge Thunder fan but I love the way they’re playing right now.
Here are the facts that are positive for the Warriors…
- Stephan Curry has 26 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast and 3 stl (does have 7 TO’s) and shoots 6-14 from 3 point range.
- Klay Thompson has 25 pts, 9 reb and 4 ast while shooting 11-25 form the field including 3 from 3 point range.
- Draymond Green has 23 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast 2 blk and 1 stl while shooting 9-20 from the field.
- Combined the Warriors big 3 total 74 pts, 24 reb, 15 ast, 4 stl and 2 blk (regular season they combined to average 66 pts, 19 reb, 16 ast, 4.5 stl and 2 blk per game) so a pretty good game all things considered.
Now here are stats that don’t look good for the Thunder…
- Kevin Durant shoots 10-30 from the field (33%, regular season 50.5%), 5-7 from the foul line (71%, regular season 89.8%) and had 5 turnovers (regular season 3.5).
- Russell Westbrook shoots 7-21 from the field (33%, regular season 45.4%).
- Enes Kanter has only 8 pts and 6 reb (regular season averaged 12.7 pts and 8.1 reb).
… and the Thunder still won the game… against the team with the best ever record for a single season… on the road!
Now it doesn’t mean they’ll win 4 in a row, they won’t even win every game at home. But the way they were able to hang on with their 2 superstars having an off night shooting the ball is a great sign. And the key is Westbrook… if he continues to pass the ball like he did against the Spurs and in this game, they’ll be booking a place in the NBA Finals.
Just remember who told you…