Will OKC's Flaws Cost Them in Round 2?
*Photo via Flipboard.com
The Oklahoma City Thunder are on the verge of defeating the Dallas Mavericks in the first round and have dominated them in the process. They have beaten the Mavericks by an average of 26 points in their three wins and will look to close out the series tonight. Although the Thunder have dominated, some of their flaws have been put on display in the first round, and will these flaws cost them in the second round? Here are a few problems that the Thunder have that may be a problem for them against the San Antonio Spurs.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook must play well
*Photo via Phatdunk.com
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are averaging 24.3 points per game and 23.5 points per game, respectively, so far in the playoffs. They are playing well to begin the playoffs, however, when they are off, the Thunder's chances of losing are exponentially higher. In their lone loss to the Mavericks, Westbrook and Durant shot a combined 15 for 55. Although they only lost by one point, the Spurs are going to capitalize if the two Thunder superstars come anywhere close to shooting that way again. Even if one of the dynamic duo is having a bad night, the Spurs chances of winning the game are high. To beat the Spurs, the Thunder's two best players are going to have to play close to perfect or the role players are going to have to step up. This has been a problem for the Thunder all season and if they cannot correct it, they will be going home soon.
Losing games after heading to the fourth quarter with a lead
*Photo via Examinergazzete
One of the Thunder's main flaws this season is that they find ways to lose games after having a lead entering the final quarter. In fact, the Thunder led the NBA in losses after entering the final period with a lead. The San Antonio Spurs are one of the best closing teams in the NBA and if the Thunder cannot close out games, it will be a huge problem for them in the second round. The Thunder's loss to the Mavericks was another example of this as they had a slim lead entering the final period, but lost the game. The Spurs will capitalize on mistakes like this and the Thunder are going to have to rectify this problem to advance to the conference finals.
The Thunder have shown some flaws early in the playoffs, however, their offensive firepower can overshadow these flaws. As long as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are healthy, they will always have a chance, but the Spurs are playing well and will be rested so it will be interesting to see how prepared the Thunder are.
The Thunder are going to meet the Spurs in the next round and if they can keep these flaws to a minimum then they will have a chance, but if their flaws are noticeable and play a huge role, the Spurs will win the series.