Two Years ago in 2012, the Oklahoma City Thunder were in a similar situation: down 0-2 to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.
However, the Thunder ended up winning four straight games to win the series in six. Now, back to the present. It’s 2014, and Kevin Durant is the reigning MVP, but the OKC Thunder are missing some crucial pieces that they had in 2012 that were able to win consecutive games against the San Antonio Spurs. James Harden is now enjoying his summer in Houston, Serge Ibaka is nursing a calf tear and so far, besides Durant and Westbrook, the starters for OKC have struggled immensely.
So, how exactly are the Thunder going to pull the upset once again? Well for starters, they have the MVP Kevin Durant, his ferocious sidekick Russell Westbrook, and the “Spurs killer” Reggie Jackson, a nickname given to him by Gregg Popovich. Along with their scoring trio, the Thunder do have some decent dept at their forward and center positions. They have rookie Steven Adams, who has played big minutes in these 2014 playoffs, Kendrick Perkins is still somehow holding on to his starting job for OKC, and the trusty Nick Collison. However, personal aside, the Thunder’s real key in this series is their defense, and their task is clearly not an easy one as they have to slow down the NBA’s best offensive team.
In two games so far in this series, the Thunder have been absolutely obliterated and are showing no signs of life in the series. But, as it’s pretty clear, scoring should not be a problem for them in these next two games as they play in the loudest home arena in the NBA, an advantage they should take advantage of. Scott Brooks has a lot of pressure on him in this series and it’s quite possible that if the Thunder don’t show a good effort at home that the Thunder might opt to go in a different direction.
Evidently, this series is not over until a road team wins a game on the road, which could quite possibly happen in game 3, but until it does, the Thunder do still have a chance and look to prove it back home in Chesapeake Energy Arena. On a last note, if it makes any difference for them, only 4 teams have come back from a 2-0 deficit in the Conference Finals in NBA history, and the last one to do it?
Well, it was the Thunder back in 2012.
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