April 30, 2016, 8:09 pm
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant hit 11-of-34 shots in Saturday’s Game 1 blowout loss to the Spurs, but their struggles were just a symptom of a complete beatdown.
The Spurs executed flawlessly on offense to start the game and the Thunder didn’t do anything to make them uncomfortable. Things unraveled from there. Andre Roberson (20 minutes, one rebound) probably shouldn’t be playing outside of some small-ball four to cover Kawhi Leonard, where his shooting won’t be such a liability. The Thunder never really ran the ball because they were pulling it out of the net so much, but it also didn’t seem like a part of their game plan.
Serge Ibaka (8-of-15 FGs, 19 points, two boards) was terrible unless you’re a big fan of empty scoring, as his game resembles Anthony Tolliver’s and he can’t really stop LaMarcus Aldridge. The combo of Ibaka and Enes Kanter (six points, four boards, 19 minutes) should be minimized so the Thunder can run out small lineups and try to make the Spurs pay for their bulk. Schematically, they need to find a way to disrupt the Spurs’ flow on offense and keep the defense from getting set in stagnant halfcourt sets. Offensive players like Dion Waiters and Cameron Payne need to help create pace and take some burden off Westbrook and Durant.