#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #2 San Antonio Spurs, Series tied 0-0 (8:30pm ET Saturday, TNT)
The Thunder came within a replay-reversed buzzer beater of sweeping their opening round series against the Mavericks, instead having to settle for a 4-1 victory in which they outscored Dallas by an average of 18 points. Russell Westbrook was the man for OKC, averaging 26 points with 7 rebounds and 11 assists, while Kevin Durant chipped in with 26 points (on 37% shooting), 6 rebounds and 3 assists. But it was Enes Kanter who did big damage off the bench, averaging 15 points and 7 boards in just 20 minutes a game. Durant is playing with a chip on his shoulder, showing a mean streak he’d given a few peeks of throughout the season – that could be a huge benefit against a team like the Spurs.
The Spurs did manage to sweep their series, brushing aside a hopelessly overmatched Grizzlies team that was missing its two best players, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. San Antonio won by an average of 22 a game, as Memphis fell by 32, 26, 9, and 21. What made the sweep impressive was that the Spurs did it with only Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge playing more than 22 minutes per, and a total of 11 guys played at least 14. This team is so balanced and disciplined and talented and well coached, they have to be the favorites to win it all until Steph Curry gets back on the floor and shows he’s at least 90%. Tim Duncan turned 40 on Monday, and one has to think that this is it for The Big Fundamental, a final title run – it’d be a shame to miss it.