The NBA playoffs are supposed to end with close, tense showdowns between elite teams. However, the NBA playoffs may end ugly and lopsided for the Oklahoma City Thunder in short order, while the San Antonio Spurs roll to another conference title. The Spurs got halfway to defending their Western Conference crown on May 21, as their Game 2 win was even more convincing than their Game 1 blowout over the Thunder, by 112-77 this time.
The second quarter is where the Spurs put the Thunder out of reach, outscoring them by 34-18. A 33-18 advantage in the third quarter erased any remaining doubt, as San Antonio actually improved from its 122-105 victory on May 19. But in both cases, the Spurs were dominant in the paint, while no one other than Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had too many points for the Thunder.
Much of the difference was also beyond the arc and on the free throw line. San Antonio made 21 of 23 free throws, while Oklahoma City was only 5-for-10. At the three point line, Danny Green connected on seven three's by himself, yet the Thunder were 2-for-20 as a team. Combined, the Spurs had 48 points from free throws and three pointers, compared to 11 for the Thunder.
After scoring 66 points from the paint without Serge Ibaka to contend with, the Spurs had 56 in Game 2. Tony Parker led San Antonio with 22 points, as the injured hamstring he suffered before the Western Conference finals hasn't slowed him down. In contrast, Oklahoma City looks hobbled in more ways than one.
The Thunder's greatest moment to date in the NBA playoffs technically started like this, as they were down 2-0 to the Spurs in the 2012 Western Conference finals before winning their only conference crown to date. Of course, Ibaka and James Harden were on that Oklahoma City team back then. Without them around, San Antonio has more of a clear path this time.
The Spurs are hoping for a bit of a revenge tour in these NBA playoffs, as they are embarrassing the team that upset them in 2012, and may next face the Miami Heat team that stole the 2013 championship from them. At this point, vengeance certainly looks assured on one of these fronts.
San Antonio can truly bury Oklahoma City on the road in Game 3 on May 25.