As every Spurs fan sits in anticipation for tonight’s big game, I came up with a list of keys to tonight’s Spurs win. Notice how I said win?
1) Box out and dominate the boards
The Spurs, athletic and capable as they are, have looked lackadaisical and lazy on rebounding at both ends of the court. I know they can do better and in order to win, they must do better. My solution to this problem is to utilize Boris Diaw, a rebounding machine, and Boban Marjanovic in order to get multiple shot opportunities on offense and decrease the Thunder’s second chance opportunities by racking in defensive boards.
2) Take the ball to the paint
While the Spurs have obviously become one of the best perimeter teams in the league, depending on outside shots just isn’t smart enough. As efficient as he is at the 15-footer, I much rather would have seen Tony Parker drive it to the lane in game 5 when the Spurs had the chance to take the lead late in the game. It’s all about mental toughness and getting over the fact that you might get banged up. I want to see all of the Spurs driving into the lane more often than they have the rest of this series. I believe getting points in the paint will be a huge key to winning tonight’s game.
3) Change the starting lineup
Gregg Popovich is well known for his last minute changes and experimentation in highly-anticipated situations. Game 6 of Spurs versus Thunder in the 2014 Western Conference Finals is just one example. During that game, Popovich switched up the starting lineup by putting in Matt Bonner at center instead of the regular starter, Tiago Splitter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar change tonight, in fact, I would welcome the switch. The only question is, who would be the option? In my opinion, I’d like to see Boris Diaw at the start. Getting those early rebounds would be a good jump start to an early advantage.
4) More Patty Mills!
Patty Mills was commended for his defensive effort against Russell Westbrook in 2014’s game 6 and I’d like to see that again. I also think the Spurs could use that spark off the bench that Patty is known to give. One of my most trusted players when down late in the game, Patty always seem cool and eager to do whatever it takes to bring home a win.
5) MAKE FREE THROWS
This pretty much speaks for itself. The Spurs have missed too many free throws throughout this series, especially late in games. Solution? Just make them.
Overall, the Spurs still have a good chance at winning tonight and taking this series to a game seven. I expect higher intensity from the Spurs and a stronger drive. This team has had a record year and they’re so deep. They need to prove themselves and I believe they can and will. Go Spurs Go!