After a heartbreaking 106-97 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, the San Antonio Spurs have a day to make adjustments for game 4. The Thunder were able to hold the Spurs to only 40 points in the paint, something that is very different from the first two games we saw in San Antonio.
The Spurs only had three players, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Kawhi Leonard, in double figures. Meanwhile, four out of the five players in the Thunder’s starting lineup were in double digits. Ginobili led the way for the Spurs with 23 points and Duncan came in second with 16.
So, now, the question is: who needs to step up in game 4? Well, the answer is pretty easy: everyone. But there are a few players that really need to step up for the next game.
Parker didn’t even get into double digits with only 9 points and went just 4-13 in field goals in 28 minutes. He had three turnovers in the second quarter, four all together, that also threw him off his game a little. All in all, he had an off night. In order for the Spurs to have a shot of winning game 4 tomorrow night, we need to see the Parker of games 1 and 2. He needs to be aggressive and help draw the fouls to get to the line. He is also going to need to be more careful with his ball handling and not allow so many turnovers that allow easy points for the Thunder.
While he was one of the three Spurs in double digits last night, he only had 10 points and went 4-11. However, he didn’t hit a single three the entire game. He is going to need to step up defensively and try to shut down Reggie Jackson. He is also going to need to help out Parker in the aggressive factor and help draw fouls.
Green had 8 points in game 3 and 6 of those came from the two three-pointers he hit. Green could really help out the Spurs tomorrow by being on fire at the three-point line. We’ve all witnessed what happens when he becomes unstoppable behind the arc, and a night like that would really help the Spurs tomorrow.
All in all, the entire team needs to step up for game 4. Except for Ginobili, he just needs to continue to do what he did in game 3. However, there are two big things the Spurs need to also watch out for: turnovers and rebounds. The Spurs had a total of 16 turnovers in last night’s game, a number that is far too high for them to be able to win a game. It also seemed like the Spurs forgot a very important word last night: rebounds. They had 36 all game. Compare that with the Thunder’s 52 and combine it with the 16 turnovers, and that will equal a loss for the Spurs. In other words, the Spurs need to step up – and not just show up.
Game 4 tipoff is set for 8 p.m. Central Time in Oklahoma City tomorrow night. Don’t forget to follow the Project Spurs staff on Twitter for up to date information during the game.