|Western Conference - Finals - Best of 7 - Game 1|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+4.1||4-1||1-4||107.6||54.6||47.9%||54.0||103.2||54.6||43.4%||49.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||105.9||53.5||39-83||46.9%||8-23||35.7%||21-25||81.0%||53||11||22||23||8||15||6|
|vs opponents surrendering||101.1||50.6||38-83||45.4%||8-21||35.7%||18-24||75.9%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||104.3||52.2||38-83||45.8%||8-24||33.7%||20-25||82.1%||53||11||20||23||8||15||6|
|Stats Against (All Games)||100.0||49.8||37-84||43.6%||8-23||35.4%||18-25||72.6%||50||11||22||21||8||14||4|
|vs opponents averaging||101.5||50.7||38-83||45.6%||8-21||35.9%||18-24||75.1%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||100.6||49.6||37-85||43.6%||8-23||34.0%||19-25||74.7%||51||11||22||21||8||14||4|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+2||4-1||3-2||108.8||58.8||48.8%||50.4||95.4||44.8||41.8%||55.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||105.4||52.1||41-83||48.7%||8-21||39.6%||16-20||78.0%||50||9||25||18||7||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||101.7||50.9||38-83||45.6%||8-22||35.9%||18-24||75.6%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||106.3||53.8||41-82||49.7%||9-21||42.2%||15-20||76.6%||50||9||26||17||7||13||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||97.8||46.7||38-85||44.3%||7-19||35.3%||16-20||76.2%||50||11||20||19||7||13||4|
|vs opponents averaging||101.9||51||38-83||45.5%||8-22||36.2%||18-24||76.2%||51||11||22||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||97.1||46.4||38-87||44.1%||7-19||36.7%||14-18||77.2%||49||11||20||19||8||12||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: OKLAHOMA CITY 96.6, SAN ANTONIO 95.4|
|4/9/2014||@ LA CLIPPERS||107-101||W||3.5||W||212||U||38-90||42.2%||55||8||36-86||41.9%||66||16|
|4/14/2014||@ NEW ORLEANS||89-101||L||-8.5||L||204||U||31-77||40.3%||54||16||35-79||44.3%||48||10|
|5/9/2014||@ LA CLIPPERS||118-112||W||4||W||214||O||44-79||55.7%||52||14||42-93||45.2%||42||6|
|5/11/2014||@ LA CLIPPERS||99-101||L||5||W||214||U||33-75||44.0%||58||16||39-93||41.9%||55||9|
|5/15/2014||@ LA CLIPPERS||104-98||W||4||W||213||U||33-72||45.8%||50||15||40-95||42.1%||56||9|
|5/19/2014||@ SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/21/2014||@ SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/25/2014||SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/27/2014||SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/19/2014||OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/21/2014||OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/25/2014||@ OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|5/27/2014||@ OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|OKLAHOMA CITY: GUARDS: RUSSELL WESTBROOK is going to likely miss the first 4-to-6 weeks of the regular season after getting another procedure done on Oct. 1 to reduce swelling on his knee. It will probably take him some time to get rid of the rust of not playing all summer . . . THABO SEFOLOSHA should play even more minutes this season with Kevin Martin gone. He has added a three-point shot to his repertoire . . . REGGIE JACKSON could end up absorbing a lot of the minutes that went to James Harden two years ago and Martin last season. But he's nowhere near the offensive threat . . . JEREMY LAMB will push Jackson for that sixth-man role. He's dominated against lesser competition . . . DEREK FISHER will get minutes as a player/coach. FORWARDS: KEVIN DURANT may have to take on an even bigger role in the regular season as the Thunder try to replace Kevin Martin's offensive production. Either way, he's the MVP among the league's non-LeBrons . . . SERGE IBAKA has had his postseason issues and still struggles defensively outside of rim protection, but he has added value with his mid-range shooting . . . NICK COLLISON's biggest skill is his ability to take charges. He'll continue to log big minutes at the four and five as a glue guy . . . One of two very raw young players, PERRY JONES III and ANDRE ROBERSON, has a chance for playing time on a thin team. CENTERS: KENDRICK PERKINS was a disaster in last year's postseason, but still provides the kind of low-post muscle the Thunder look for . . . Rookie STEVEN ADAMS could take over for Perkins down the road, but he's too raw to make an impact this year . . . HASHEEM THABEET fills out the final roster spot.|
|SAN ANTONIO: GUARDS:Considering how exhausted he looked by the end of the Finals, don't be surprised if TONY PARKER gets more rest during the regular season . . . DANNY GREEN had a coming-out party this past June. A three-point specialist who can defend, the Spurs will lean on him more heavily during the first 82 . . . MANU GINOBILI looks oh-so-close to being done. His minutes will decline . . . MARCO BELINELLI adds quality depth behind Green. He'll take many of the minutes that used to go to Ginobili and Gary Neal, who left for Milwaukee . . . CORY JOSEPH enters the season as the favorite to back up Parker, but it's a fluid situation . . . NANDO DE COLO fell out of the rotation last season, but has enough talent that he should bounce back . . . PATTY MILLS is more of a cheerleader than a useful bench piece. FORWARDS: TIM DUNCAN just keeps going. The 2012-13 regular season was his best in years. The Spurs will keep his minutes in check, but he likely has another great season in him . . . KAWHI LEONARD is one of the league's elite role players, and he seems to keep getting better. He can shoot, score off the dribble and defend . . . JEFF AYRES is a skilled big man who will back up Duncan and can play alongside him for stretches. Like all of their frontcourt players besides Duncan, the player formerly known as Jeff Pendergraph, will see his playing time will fluctuate greatly depending on matchups. CENTERS: TIAGO SPLITTER continues to improve rapidly, and he'll now take the bulk of the minutes alongside Duncan. But as we saw in last year's Finals, head coach Gregg Popovich will keep him on the bench if the matchup isn't right . . . BORIS DIAW's versatility gives Pop options off the bench . . . MATT BONNER is pretty much just around to participate in the Three-Point Shootout at this point in his career.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NBA PLAYOFF PREVIEW (OKLAHOMA CITY-SAN ANTONIO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates. With AP Photos.)
*Thunder-Spurs Preview* =======================
By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer
Oklahoma City At San Antonio, Game One, 9:00 p.m. EDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- When asked about the oldie-but-goodie San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant inquired about Tony Parker's age.
"Thirty-two," a reporter answered.
"He is old," Durant quipped, drawing laughter. "He doesn't play like he's 32 years old."
Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are even older. Duncan just turned 38 and Ginobili is approaching 37. The trio won its first NBA title together in 2003 and fought back Father Time to reach the NBA Finals last year. They will play in their seventh Western Conference finals together, starting with Game 1 Monday night in San Antonio.
Durant, the league's MVP, said there's more to San Antonio's success than some mythical fountain of youth. It starts with the genius of Gregg Popovich, the league's Coach of the Year.
"Their system, they plug guys in and out," Durant said. "They always stick to their same system. They get guys who fit. And they've got a great coach who gets those guys prepared."
Even with an aging core and numerous injuries throughout the season, the Spurs finished with the league's best record. They did it with consistency and teamwork that has continued in the playoffs. San Antonio is shooting 49 percent from the field as a team in the postseason, with no player averaging 20 points.
Oklahoma City counters with dynamic individual play from a pair of 25-year-olds. Durant is averaging 31.4 points and 9.5 rebounds in the playoffs. Russell Westbrook is averaging 26.6 points, 8.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds in postseason play.
Westbrook, in particular, has San Antonio's attention. While Durant's play has been typical, Westbrook has improved significantly as a floor general during the playoffs.
"He's an incredible talent having a great playoff run," Duncan said. "Some incredible numbers. Just an impressive athlete when you try to stay in front of him. His confidence is there."
The Thunder will be without Serge Ibaka, who led the league in blocked shots. The mobile, athletic forward injured his left calf in Game 6 of the conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"It's hard, but we're going to move on," Thunder center Kendrick Perkins said. "We're a very prideful organization and team. We're going to move on."
Here are five things to watch in the series:
THUNDER DOMINANCE: Oklahoma City won all four regular-season meetings with San Antonio this season, so the Spurs will take nothing for granted, even with Ibaka out.
"You never get overconfident in that situation, especially against a team that we haven't beat this year," Ginobili said. "We know how talented they are. They can really score in bunches. Very athletic, strong, play good defense. So, no, we're not going to get overconfident for sure."
IBAKA'S REPLACEMENT: Oklahoma City rookie Steven Adams is the most likely to see a spike in minutes. Veteran Nick Collison will play more, too. The Thunder could go with a smaller lineup at times and play Durant as a power forward. Coach Scott Brooks still wouldn't say Sunday who would start in Ibaka's place.
PARKER'S HAMSTRING: San Antonio was likely to have significant help on Westbrook anyway, but Parker's strained left hamstring could be a major problem against Westbrook and Reggie Jackson, two of the most athletic point guards in the league. Parker said Sunday that the hamstring was still tight, but he plans to play. Jackson said the Thunder will test Parker early.
LEONARD vs. DURANT: Brooks said Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is an All-Star in the making. The Spurs feel Leonard is the best equipped player in the league to bother Durant because of his length and energy.
"As good as anybody can do it," Ginobili said. "We are lucky to have him. Nobody can guard him (Durant) 1-on-1. That's been proven - he's the MVP - but you can put him in some trouble, and then the team has to respond."
SPURS' OTHER GUYS: One thing that makes the Spurs dangerous is their depth. Though Parker, Duncan and Ginobili are the best-known players, Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills all play their roles well and are capable of being difference makers in the right situation. Oklahoma City will need to prevent the other guys from having breakout nights.
AP freelancer Raul Dominguez in San Antonio contributed to this report.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.
|Last Updated: 12/20/2014 12:24:08 AM EST|