Tony Parker didn’t play for the entire second half of Game 6. But that didn’t slow the San Antonio Spurs down. At one point, the Spurs were on a 15-2 run against the athletic young guys of Oklahoma City. Manu Ginobili manned the 1 position as Parker treated his ankle on the bench.Ginobili knocked down a huge 3, but then sent Russell Westbrook to the line for 2 free points. This block in overtime from Kawhi Leonard was the final nail in the coffin though.
There was so much chatter about how Serge Ibaka is a game-changer and that San Antonio is offensively out of sync with him on the floor. In Game 5 and 6, the Thunder gave up 26 offensive rebounds. That disparity was due to Coach Popovich shaking up the lineup. By surrounding Tim Duncan with perimeter shooters, Ibaka was pulled away from his home in the paint. Boris Diaw scored a season high 26 points. Danny Green, who has been previously criticized for disappearing in road games, contributed 11 points, 4 steals, and a pair of blocks.
The Spurs won the Western Conference against a familiar foe and its MVP. The NBA Finals are now set up to be the 1st Finals rematch since the Utah Jazz and Jordan’s Bulls in 1998. Free throws and a blown layup cost the Spurs their 5th championship a year ago. The big 3 and Coach Pop have said throughout the season that they replay certain plays from last year’s Finals often. They won’t make those same ticky-tack mistakes this time. This is a more focused and extremely determined Spurs team. I do believe that this is going to be another Finals for the ages.
My Prediction: Spurs in 7