Unfortunately, we witnessed another Spurs loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, and the series is now tied.
I speak for most Spurs fans when I say I expected the team to come out of the tunnel on fire in light of Sunday night’s loss. That happened for a brief period during the first quarter. But, it seemed as soon as the Thunder found their rhythm, the Spurs lost theirs and were unable to find it for the rest of the game.
Spurs fans felt what it was like to be on the opposite end of a blowout as the Thunder lead by as 27 points.
The game felt just about done by the third quarter, especially after seeing Coach Popovich reach deep into the bench. Many saw his response as Pop “throwing in the towel” or “waving the white flag,” but it actually helped. The bench came out with the fire and heart that is the core of Spurs’ basketball. They chipped away at the lead with Thunder starters still on the court, which is when Cory Joseph got himself into the highlight reel. You read that right, “Cory Joseph” and “highlight reel” in the same sentence. Young Joseph had no fear of Ibaka’s presence in the paint as he dunked right on him and surprised all watching, including Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. Though it wasn’t enough to win the game, the tenacity that CoJo and the bench brought had many entertaining the thought of giving them more minutes in game five. Here is more from Spurs Nation on that topic, what they want to see on Thursday, and how they felt post-game:
“OKC Big 3 played exhaustive minutes. They don’t trust [their] bench. Spurs empty bench and refuse to quit.” – @RayDeleon4627
“Even if it goes to 7 w/ home teams winning, we advance. Most of the Spurs’ probs seem mental. They’ll reset at home. We got this.” – @BisonStarsSpurs
“Actually, all my frustrations disappeared when the bench took over the game. I just hope the starters learned from them.” – @gaily21
“Less Mills, as much as it breaks my heart, CoJo’s got the confidence after that Ibaka dunk and he’s better on defense.” – @l_ramon
“Give Cory some legit minutes in the 2nd quarter and see how he does.” – @JohnnyNBA
“No worries I had #Spurs in 7 and never changed it. We got them at home!! Home Sweet Tone, There’s No Place Like Tone. #SpursNation” – @Spurnandez210
“Well, I’d have to go with Pop’s words on this one: ‘It’s got nothing to do w/ adjustments. It’s about playing harder & smarter…’” – @TheCrunchySopa
“Boris should start at the 4 to open up driving lanes. Or Bonner, any floor spacer at the 4 would help our spacing.” – @SASpursDude
“Probably have to start either Manu or Diaw in G5. Hopefully the starters play with the same heart the benched showed tonight.” – @avelarde2
With the series tied up, the Spurs are back to square one. It will surely be a relief to see the Spurs back in their familiar territory of the AT&T Center on Thursday night. Here’s hoping home court advantage truly does become an advantage and the team regains control of the series.