Heat vs Thunder: NBA Finals Games 1 & 2 Wrap Up

Both games have gone mostly how I expected, very close toward the end and tense. A true test of which players can carry their team the furthest. Game 1 the Heat had the obvious upper hand throughout the entire game. Lebron was carrying them, Battier was producing from beyond the arc going for 4-6 and Bosh and Wade were supporting the run with a combined 29 points. Then the 4th quarter came around and we divided the two superstars into separate groups. Before I say this, this is not a shot at Lebron choking in the clutch because he is clutch. Think game 6 of Eastern Conference Finals. Durant scored 17 of his 36 points in the 4th quarter to lead a comeback and win the Thunder game 1. Lebron scored 7 points, which is again a solid quarter production. It just showed who was able to really show up in crunch time when it mattered. Game 1 showed that Wade needs to be much more assertive in his drives to the basket for the Heat to sustain the lead. Lebron scored 30, but he can’t keep scoring and hold off the wildly energetic Thunder squad at the same time. Wade was active on D, but he wasn’t aggressive enough on offense and let Lebron take the fall. Game 1 showed us that Lebron can find great success in posting up KD. He did a great job of posting up from 12-15 feet and either driving, or hitting a turn around jumper. Game 1 showed us that Westbrook is a true superstar not just an athletic all-star. He contributed to the win with 27 points and 11 assists. He also only committed two turnovers, that just shows his development as a player because earlier in his career he used to be careless with the ball and in turn had a poor assist to turnover ratio but he is continuing to be efficient. Game 1 showed us that Bosh will have trouble scoring against the Thunder, the interior defense is too tough for him to score over and Ibaka is too athletic for him to just shoot over him after a jab. He will continue to have trouble. We also learned that the Heat’s supporting guys aren’t just glory-hunting scrubs but great supporting players. Battier had 17 points and Chalmers had 12 points. After Game 1, we have to think the series will continue to come down to the 4th quarter considering Wade only had 19 points and Harden only had 5. When those two produce more these games will be closer and have more factors to take into account.

Game 2 showed the difference Dwyane Wade makes to the Heat with his aggression and assertiveness. He recorded 24 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists and to no surprise the Heat ended up with the W. Bosh faired better in this game with 16 points and 15 rebounds, he was very effective on the boards and killed Oklahoma that way. Once again Battier scored 17 points, but the rest of the team only scored 11 points. That’s why the Thunder rally was possible, the Thunder were intensifying on defense and the Heat only had 5 players to score instead of a whole team. Luckily Lebron and Wade came up big in the 4th while Bosh rebounded relentlessly to keep them alive. The Heat still need the rest of their team to produce consistently otherwise, the Thunder will win the odd game in the series and ultimately win the championship. The Thunder fought back relentlessly and showed true heart. Unfortunately, they couldn’t finish it off. Harden was the best player in this game for the Thunder, and began the run that brought them back. He recorded 21 points while Durant had 32 and Westbrook had 27. They combined for 80 of the Thunder’s 96 points. They desperately need someone else to score with them. Three players can’t beat a team with an equally talented trio who have their supporting guys scoring. The Thunder also need to rebound the ball. Not one player, not even Ibaka and Perkins finished with double digits in the rebounds column. Ibaka and Perkins combined for only 12 rebounds while Bosh alone got 15. They have a strength and size advantage of everybody on the court at all times, they need to start rebounding to limit the Heat’s possessions and give them more opportunities. Overall, a close game in the 4th, and this time Lebron stepped up and held his team up until the finish line.

Game 3 is taken to Miami where the Heat are 8-2 at home. The fans are excited, the celebs will be piled high and Wade always plays better at home, on the flip side Battier only shoots 31% from three on his home-court as supposed to 42% on the road, his production has been huge and if he can’t produce like he has then the Heat may be in trouble. Harden should have another big game, as well as the usual suspects. The Thunder big men need to be more effective everywhere on the floor, they need to show their presence as well as the Thunder bench minus Harden.

Heat at Thunder: NBA Finals Preview

This is going to be extremely exciting. The Thunder crowd is going to be absolutely bonkers tonight and that will hopefully be a huge boost to the Thunder. This whole series will come down to the production of each teams respective big three’s and their supporting players. Before I go into this I would just like to go down in whatever history I end up in that the Thunder are going to win in 7 games.

Coming into this series the Thunder look invincible. They won 4 in a row against a team that was considered unstoppable after winning 20 in a row. They are dangerous and have proved themselves as real winners. The Heat came off a strange series vs the Celtics. It was very up and down, they had several moments where they looked invincible and several where they looked like headless chicken running around on the court. The Heat can’t do that, they can’t have off nights, or moments where they’re tuned out because the Thunder obviously aren’t fazed by any pressure. No game is too big and you can count on the Thunder not to have any off nights.

Before we focus on game 1 specifically, in general the Thunder need to take advantage of their strength down low. Perkins has had moments where he’s produced a post game, and Ibaka should definitely take over Joel Anthony and Chris Bosh. If they can attract double teams down low, or just produce down low it takes pressure off of perimeter guys like Durant, Harden and Westbrook, and that will be the difference against the Heat because Bosh is more of a finesse guy and can’t post up Ibaka and Perkins so they will have something the Heat don’t. The Thunder also have the advantage of the bench. They have consistent role players, as supposed to the Heat’s supporting guys who hit some threes from time to time and do almost nothing else. Every guy has to continue producing like they have throughout the postseason because they could win with their second unit. In addition, they have to try and attack the paint as much as possible. The Thunder have a bad habit of settling for jumpers from time to time, if they get a bad bounce or the shot goes long the Heat are going to be breaking. They have to limit the fast-break opportunities for the Heat. The Thunder, especially Durant have to attack and try get the big men in foul trouble because of the lack of depth, and a semi-healthy Bosh. The Thunder also have to continue to play well at the end of games, and well under pressure. They have it all figured out in late game situations and the Heat don’t so if they can exude composure in the 4th quarter that alone will be a huge advantage. I think the Thunder have so many good interior defenders that James will be finding it harder to attack the rim all the time, and will settle for more jumpers. When Garnett was out of the game he had his way inside against the Celtics, the Thunder have to make sure that doesn’t happen. They have to come out aggressive to set the tone down low. The Thunder also have the underrated advantage of Sefolosha on the defensive end. He is going to bother Wade like crazy, in a postseason where he’s already had some offensive troubles from time to time. Sefolosha has guarded star players in every series and will pester Wade like a fly buzzing around his room in the dark. That should definitely bother Wade enough to maybe slow him down and keep him off stride just a bit.

The Heat on the other hand need to make Durant play defense. He is so long and often lurks along the perimeter and uses his wingspan to block shots, or poke away some steals. They should get Lebron into post-up situations vs Durant because if Durant has the length, Lebron has the strength. Not only can Lebron take advantage there but it forces Durant to focus on man to man defense instead of lurking or helping most of the time. I think Wade needs to get going very early, and he should be Spoelstra’s first priority offensively. When he is hot everybody else flows off of him. He has had a very poor series of 1st half’s throughout the postseason and if he can get easy shots early then he will get comfortable early. If he has a night off as he has in 1st halfs, then the Thunder will take over because if one member of the Big 3 is down the other team still has an effective big 3 to counter. They absolutely need to their bench to step up. Battier has been playing well, Norris Cole has played great basketball, Haslem has always been great but other then those three their bench is awful. The Thunder will step all over them if they don’t produce so that’s an essential thing. Lebron especially has to remember the attitude he came into game 5 with and have that same energy every night of the Finals. There is no room to not be that energized in the NBA finals. When he is aggressive and in a scorers mentality he is unstoppable and the Heat therefore, become unstoppable. He can’t be soft, and not attack the rim no matter how hard it may be for him. Wade as well. They both have to be tuned in.

All in all, I think the Thunder will win this series because their bench is a lot stronger. They have home-court advantage and none of their big three has a disadvantage against any defenders on the Heat. Durant averaged 29 points against the Heat this season and can handle Lebron due to his length. Westbrook can handle Chalmers and the whole Heat defense easily due to his quickness, and his lethal jump shot off pick and rolls. He averaged a steady 20.5 points a game during the regular season against Miami. James Harden has a size advantage over Wade and is a great playmaker, and playmakers can play against every team. He averaged 15.5 points against Miami coming off the bench this season. Lebron and Wade will play their games and both average 25+, Lebron will probably get 30+ against the Thunder but Bosh will have more trouble because of the bigger and stronger defenders guarding him. He only averaged 15 ppg against the Thunder in the regular season, the Heat can’t beat the Thunder with only 15 a game from the third of their Big 3.

In game 1, specifically the Thunder need to use the especially rowdy crowd to their advantage and use them as fuel to get them a W. Quick stat, they are 8-0 at home in the postseason. It’s dangerous territory for the Heat to come into and they should be frightened. Both teams need to set the tone and that comes from the production of the Big 3. This will be interesting to see which teams Big 3 comes out attacking first.

More To Come

Don’t think because the Thunder have gotten to the next level and the next tier of excellence that they’re going to stop there. They’re not done. Actually, far from it. They’re on their way to winning an NBA championship. 5 years ago Kevin Durant joined the Oklahoma City Thunder or Seattle Supersonics as they were known and won 20 games. 20 games. The next year they picked up Russell Westbrook in the draft. They won 23 that year. In 2009, they picked up James Harden and Serge Ibaka and won 50 games, while suffering a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Lakers in the first round. The next year, they were the 4th seed in the NBA and won 55 games. They advanced to the conference finals but lost in 6 games to the Dallas Mavericks who went on to win the NBA championship. This year they clinched the 2nd seed in the West by winning 47 out of 66 games. That was just to highlight the growth and development of this team as a unit. They worked their way up through hard work and patience and they progressed every single year. Kevin Durant is now a 3 time scoring champion, James Harden the 6th man of the year, and Russell Westbrook a top 5 point guard in the NBA. Now they’re in the NBA finals. It wasn’t easy though, they were down 2-0 to a team who had won 20 games in a row and looked unstoppable. However, they won 4 in a row and finished the aging Spurs and are now bound to win an NBA championship, with their three best players all under the age of 24. So, if they don’t win it this year, which they most likely will, they will certainly win it in the years to come.

What’s so good about the Thunder? How did this small market team come out of nowhere in the past 5 years and take over the NBA? Well, one thing is for certain they have every piece to the puzzle in place. They all know their roles and there is not a hole in this roster that needs filling. They have the unstoppable scorer, the best 6th man in the NBA, and a top 5 point guard. They have the runner up for defensive player of the year playing alongside Kendrick Perkins one of the grittiest, and toughest players in the NBA. They have Thabo Sefolosha, one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. On the bench, Derrick Fisher a 5 time NBA champion who brings the wisdom and experience to the young team. They have Nick Collinson a terrific post defender and pick and roll defender. Daquon Cook even gave the Thunder a boost beyond the arc in this series. Everybody knows their role and everybody is so damn good at it. They are so good defensively, because they are constantly helping each other out. Offensively, they are often too quick for most teams in the league. Besides the Heat, no team gets up and down the floor as quickly as the Thunder do. Then of course, it’s nearly impossible to stop Kevin Durant from scoring, and if you focus too much on him then Westbrook puts you on a poster while Harden gets another and 1.

The reason they are destined for an NBA championship is because neither team in the Eastern Conference finals can beat the Thunder in a best of 7 series. The Celtics first off are too slow and I don’t think they can compete with the youth and quickness of the Thunder. Sure, we all said that about them vs the Heat but it’s different. The Heat can’t beat the Celtics because of the lack of depth, the Celtics make up for their lack of athleticism with their overwhelming depth. The Thunder however, are the better version of the Heat. They have their own big 3 but they have so many premier role players that there is no area in which they lack. The other thing is that the Heat are having troubles because the Big 2 are finding it extremely hard to get to the basket because of the stifling Celtic defense and because of Garnett in the middle. James and Wade aren’t great shooters however, Durant, Harden and Westbrook don’t need to get to the basket to score. They can all shoot the ball from everywhere on the floor, especially Durant. They shouldn’t have a problem settling for jumpers, because they do that naturally already. Perkins or Ibaka can also outmuscle and outplay Brandon Bass down low, another minor advantage that could prove invaluable if these two teams meet up. And one of the most important things is the Celtics have yet to face a team in the playoffs with a defender who can really bother Garnett. Al Horford was the closest thing to Ibaka and Perkins yet and Garnett averaged 18 and 10 against him. Garnett has yet to play against a really good and tough post defender and a tough big man in the playoffs. He won’t be playing against a Spencer Hawes or Joel Anthony. He’ll get takes from Ibaka and Perkins and that will completely alter his production making it much harder for the Celtics to score. If the Thunder play the Heat, well it should be even easier. The Thunder are just a better version of the Heat and a younger version. Instead of a Big 2, and an inconsistent 3, they have a really big young 3. Instead of no big men, they have Perkins and Ibaka, with Collison for support. Instead of aging veterans surrounding them, they have young talented players like Sefolosha, and Harden. The Thunder would pound the Heat inside. Ibaka and Perkins would absolutely have their way down low and would outrebound everybody on the Heat, making it a lot harder for the Heat to get out and run, which is what they love to do. Additionally, the depth of the Thunder would prove lethal like the depth of the Celtics is proving to be against Miami. Durant and Lebron will cancel out, Westbrook and Wade will cancel out and we know Harden will produce more then Bosh so there goes their big three. And when the stars in Miami are out the Heat can’t handle Harden and Derrick Fisher on the perimeter. They’re outnumbered and outmatched as they say.

The Thunder may have improved this season and gotten to the next level, but i assure you they’re not finished. In fact, there is tons more to come.

Thunder vs Lakers Matchup

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I love this series. Not only because the two best scorers in the game are featured, but because two seasons ago when the Thunder dynasty was new to the elite group of teams it was the Lakers who crushed their dreams. It’s awesome to see that this season the Thunder will get revenge at the Lakers. Also, because I’m hoping Ron… I mean Metta World Peace has another elbow spasm and starts more controversy. I also love when he contradicts his new name. Anyway, back to the series.

I think the main reason why the Lakers won’t win this series is because the Thunder are the only team in the league with enough premier post defenders to stop them from scoring inside. For the Lakers, their interior scoring is their biggest strength. The Thunder have Perkins, Collison, Mohammed, and Ibaka who are all defensive minded players who can limit Pau and Bynum. Pau was held to 10 points and Bynum was held to 20 in game 1. Game 1 was a blow out and a few things contributed to that. Kobe couldn’t get into a rythm. The Thunder had too many ways to stop him defensively, and they did. He shot a poor 38% from the field and was limited to 20 points. Sefolosha, Harden, and even Durant all took turns frustrating Kobe. Additionally, Ramon Sessions couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. He shot 1-7 from the field for 2 points. That attributes to the Thunder defense, and Russell Westbrook’s job on him. When Kobe is limited, Pau is being held to 10 points and Sessions is being held to 2, the Lakers will never win a game. That’s simply because the supporting cast behind them are pretty terrible. The bench scored 26 of the Lakers’ 90 points. Their depth will definitely be exposed in this series, considering the Thunder are such a deep team. They did a good job on the glass, but had no answer for Westbrook and Durant. If both of them continue to score 25+ for the rest of the series then this will be easy.

In game 2, the Lakers were close but couldn’t hold onto the lead for a full 48 minutes. That is credited to poor late game execution, which isn’t characteristic of the Lakers. They got a good last shot, but gave up a 9 point run to the Thunder in the final 2 minutes. To be quite honest, they only held the lead because the Thunder weren’t knocking down shots. It wasn’t because they were playing stellar basketball. Ramon Sessions was once again held to 2 points. He only took 3 shots though, so either he has to be more assertive or they just have to stop watching Kobe shoot the ball, which he isn’t doing efficiently by the way. He shot a poor 36% from 9-25 from the field. That was again credited to the strong perimeter defense of the Thunder. Once again the Laker bench was atrocious, scoring only 11 of the Lakers 75 points. They definitely need to step up, the Thunder have very good match-ups defensively against the Lakers starting unit so they desperately need some spark. Once again though, they did a great job on the glass out-rebounding the Thunder by 5. For the Thunder they have to be more aggressive. In game 1 and 2 they took way too many jump shots and that’s ok when you’re making them like in game 1. However, in game 2 when Harden is 3-8 and Westbrook is 5-17 they need scoring from inside. I’d look for them to be more aggressive down low, because they almost lost this game due to settling for jumpers.

For the future, I think the Thunder have to be more aggressive with the basketball. Maybe try to get more driving opportunities and get the Laker big men in trouble. For the Lakers, they need to take another look at their offensive strategy. Kobe is struggling this series shooting a combined 37% from the field. Sessions is struggling and the bench just can’t play basketball at this point. They should try utilize Bynum more in games 3 and 4, although the Thunder have interior defenders he has a size mismatch on everybody. They should play more of an inside out game through the rest of the series, that way they can get Bynum hot early and free up space for Sessions and Kobe.

I’m going to have to take the Thunder in this series in 5 games.

Regular Season Awards

As the season winds down it’s time for awards. You know that awkward time where you have to choose the select few who are worthy of recognition for their roles this year. I’m not one of those people who lighten the mood and say everyone’s a winner… everyone deserves it. Blah blah blah. No, so… let’s begin.

MVP: LeBron James

January Prediction: Kevin Durant

Honorable Mention: Kevin Durant

The fight for MVP has been close all season, going back and forth between candidates. But LeBron seemed to have that one extra special game over Durant and if you put things in perspective, for LeBron to get the numbers he does while playing with Bosh and Wade is surreal. Sharing the spotlight with 2 all-stars and still recording the same numbers when he was the lone star in Cleveland just shows the superiority LeBron has over the rest of the league.  His numbers scream dominance. Recording about 27 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists a game is astounding. And it doesn’t happen often. He gets that extra inch over Durant for two reasons. First, Durant is averaging about 28 points 8 rebounds but 3 assists. Their numbers are almost identical until the assist column hits us square in the face. LeBron manages to average 27 while leading his team in assists. Durant only averages 3. That’s what separates them; Durant’s game is still developing while LeBron’s game is so well rounded that he could play 4 positions on any team in the league. Second, the Miami Heat are currently on a 5 game winning streak with a good chance of grabbing the #1 seed in the East. Not to mention LeBron’s takeover of most of those games while Wade sat out. During all of this the Thunder have been a bit up and down and have lost their grip on the #1 seed. The success of the Heat has rested significantly on LeBron’s shoulders and he has risen to the challenge, Durant is a scorer first and an all around player second, so I guess LeBron continues his legacy with his third MVP. Only thing missing now is a… yeah I figure everyone was thinking it anyway, I won’t bother finishing the sentence.

Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau

January Prediction: Mike Brown

Honorable Mention: Gregg Popovich

When the Bulls surprised everybody last year with the best record in the East, we all pointed to Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau. Why wouldn’t we, I mean the MVP and the coach of the year led that team to a surprise takedown of the Eastern Conference let alone the league in a season where health was an issue for Rose’s two supporting guys. So this year when they still manage to grab the best record in the East while Rose missed 26 games we have to emphasize Tom Thibodeau’s effect on this team. They still managed to really dominate the league without their superstar. Their defense suffocated teams and their role players stepped up every night. How can any other coach win this award? No other coach had to deal with their star player missing almost half the season. No other coach would be capable of keeping his team in gear to a #1 seed in the East without his superstar. No coach would be able to enforce a top 5 defense without the leadership of their superstar. I applaud Tom Thibodeau’s work this year, it is something that is taken for granted. The way he managed to keep everybody focused and winning even with the absence of the league’s MVP. Look at the Bulls without Rose; they should be a downgrade from the 76’ers, however they ended up being an upgrade from the Heat.

Defensive Player of the Year: Tyson Chandler

January Prediction: Dwight Howard

Honorable Mention: Serge Ibaka

The reigning champions all hailed Tyson Chandler after their championship for being the X factor for their team. He was praised for being the guy that brought toughness, grit and a defensive mindset to a relatively soft team. They worshipped him in Dallas for turning their team into a defensive monster. We recognized him for that last season, however this season the definition of ‘X Factor’ was taken to a whole new level. The Knicks ranked 28th last year in points allowed with a discouraging 105.7 points per game. However, this year since the addition of Chandler and partially Shumpert the Knicks rank 13th in points allowed with 94. 84 points a game. For those who aren’t too fond of math, that’s a 10.86 difference from last year to this last year. The Knicks have become one of the best defensive teams in the league through Chandler’s input vocally and physically. He is exactly the player the Knicks needed. I mean it almost sounds wrong, to be calling the Knicks a good defensive team but strangely enough they are. This season the Knicks have given up an average of 116.5 points per game in the 4 games that Chandler hasn’t played so. His impact on this team is undeniable and his emphasis on the defensive end has completely reshaped the Knicks’ culture. Even his individual stats scream defensive stopper. Averaging 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game this season. Sure Ibaka may be blocking every shot that is comes into the paint, he hasn’t transformed the team defensively. They’ve been consistent defensively for years, and he has a whole team full of defensive oriented players, while Chandler is dealing with a mainly offensive minded squad.

Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving

January Prediction: Iman Shumpert/Kemba Walker

Honorable Mention: Kenneth Faried

To be honest I think this race was decided once Rubio busted his knee earlier this season. Kyrie Irving has been playing like a veteran. There are no signs of immaturity and he has taken on the responsibility of carrying a Lebronless Cleveland team who are still sulking over the man who has the same amount of hair as he does rings. He doesn’t seem to be phased by any pressure. Look January 29th vs. Boston, or March 7th vs. Denver. He not only gave hope to a essentially depressed Cleveland fan base but he averaged about 19 points, 4 assists and 5 and a half rebounds a game. He will only continue to develop in the future, and could easily be an all-star by next season.

Most Improved Player: Jeremy Lin

January Prediction: Ryan Anderson/Kyle Lowry

Honorable Mention: Ersan Ilyasova

Wow. I mean really though. Wow. It’s unbelievable. It is, for a lack of a better pun, a Linderella story. In fact it’s Linsane. It’s Linsanity, I tell you. Linsanity. He’s the only player I use on my Lintendo DS nowadays. (I’m on a roll,) ok but back to his season. First off, he probably got a lot of NBA scouts fired. He embarrassed Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Deron Williams and brought the Knicks much needed success. I don’t think a most improved player award could go to someone more worthy. He didn’t let his past failures stop him from being successful. He kept striving and working and eventually found an invaluable spot on a team that needed him more then anybody can measure in wins and losses. I also don’t think any player has defined this award better then Jeremy Lin did this year. A most improved player award is given to a player who strives to success and isn’t content with his production. Jeremy Lin went from the guy at the end of the bench whose ear you maybe see on the corner of your screen, to a guy who had the whole world begging for interviews and hailing at his feet. Last year he averaged 9 minutes per game in 29 games for Golden State and only averaged 3 points, 1 steal and 1 assist. This season he played 35 games started 25 games and averaged 15 points, 6 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Before the all-star break the Knicks had a 12-3 record with Lin playing major minutes. He holds the record for most points scored in his first 5 starts with 136 total points. Some might counter with he only played three weeks in this season. They would have a point if they wanted to deprive Lin of this award, he did miss a significant chunk of the season. I just think his season can’t be dismissed without an award.

6th Man Of The Year: James Harden

January Prediction: James Harden

Honorable Mention: Lou Williams

James Harden is no doubt the unsung hero on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Imagine how selfless a player has to be to accept a 6th man role when he could be the best player on more then half of the teams in the league. He is the epitome of providing energy and scoring off the bench. He has averaged about 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists a game. He just continues to grow… a beard and as a player. He is the X factor for this team and could very well be the difference makers in a close series come playoff time. No team in the NBA can match his intensity off the bench, which puts everyone at a disadvantage when they play their second unit. Nobody can really handle him. He is a lockdown defender, a part of his game that isn’t mentioned enough. He’s also versatile scorer. If he keeps this role throughout the rest of his career he could possibly win this award every year for the next half of a decade. As well as being on several all-star teams in the future.

If you disagree with these conclusions, feel free to comment with your opinion. And hey, while you’re at it, subscribe. Hit that subscribe button that says Hell Yes! I want to subscribe. I won’t let you down.

Changes Needed: Spurs

Spurs. They looked like the favorite for the NBA title during the regular season, they played lockdown defense, they played efficient offense and the veteran Spurs were looking at another good year at work. That was until they got embarrassed by the 8th seeded Grizzlies. As their team gets older and slower they need to start getting some young players around their team to start up another dynasty once their big 3 leaves. Improvements this summer are essential, so this is what they need.

The main reason they lost to the Grizzlies was because the Memphis big men killed them in the post with their speed, their quickness, their moves, and they’re aggressiveness. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol pounded them inside and succeeded because Tim Duncan is no longer the defensive anchor he once was. Let’s face it, as much as we like to think of Tim Duncan as an all-star and as a great power forward. He no longer is. He helps his team with leadership, screens, rebounds and effort but he can’t help them that much offensively or defensively. Tiago Splitter showed some potential but not enough to take the Spurs past the 1st round next year. Dejuan Blair has showed tons of potential and promise in his two years in the league but he is only a big 6’9. They need a 7 foot youngster to protect the paint and play in the low post. Then they need a consistent back up scorer, someone like James Harden. Richard Jefferson is old and more inconsistent than the British weather. He’ll score 15 points one game and 2 points the next. Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker aren’t going to be able to hold the scoring load for the whole team. They need a consistent 6th man.

Youth overall is a must for this team. They’re three best players are all in their 30’s. They need some youth in their starting lineup as well as they’re bench. I look forward to seeing them reconstruct their team with more youth and fresh talent. It will be sad to see the classic Spurs broken up but the team has had a good run I just think with all the talented up and coming teams, like the Thunder and Bulls, the Spurs won’t get very far come playoff time.