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OKC slows it down, blow out Spurs

Of all the adjustments the Thunder made in Game 3, slowing the pace of the game was most important.

Hollinger explains in today's PER Diem (Insider):

In a fast-paced game, the Spurs have a nearly five-point advantage, which translates to San Antonio winning two-thirds of the time on a neutral court. In a slow-paced game? The advantage shifts to the Thunder by about two points, which translates into the Thunder winning 57 percent of the time.

We're not talking about some minor, marginal shift. A jump from 33 percent to 57 percent means that Oklahoma City's odds of winning don't just increase; they nearly double if they get the pace down to 95 possessions or fewer.

Why is that? Looking a little closer, we can see that each team benefits on both sides of the ball from playing its preferred pace, but the biggest changes come at the defensive end.

Everybody focuses on the Thunder's athleticism and finishing ability in the open court, but a fast-paced game does more to expose their poor transition defense than to highlight their offensive brilliance. Meanwhile, the Spurs defy expectation by dramatically improving defensively in an up-tempo game, presumably because they manage to maintain floor balance even in the face of a helter-skelter environment.
The Thunder's best approach against the Spurs is the opposite of what you may think
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99 comments
 
happy thunder won hopefually the spurs won't sweep hate them
 
Bad form ESPN, really you link to the article and I have to be an "insider" to read it. Thanks, uncircled. 
 
Spurs are going to win the series anyway.
 
Spurs are on beast mode, OKC can't stop them......
 
Laker fan here but if its down to Heat/Spurs, I'd have to root for the Spurs. 
 
Don't matter what either OKC or San Antonio does. Nobody has an answer for Wade and Lebron and that's with or without Bosh. Miami in 6 either series. Lebron going in this year.
 
+Omar Shareef That's fanboyism right there. If the Spurs and Heat played right now, the Spurs would probably win at this point. The Spurs are a well oiled machine right now. 
 
@ Beto Aguirre
No fanboyism. D-Wade played in Milwaukee @ Marquette where I'm from. Been a Miami fan since he got there. That's been over 8 years pre Lebron and Bosh.  
+ its a New year. Different Lebron. They don't lose. 
 
+Omar Shareef rondo definitely had an answer in game 2 with 44 points. more than lebron and wade
 
F*** Rondo & the Celtics +Aditya Hoque, u can't even have wade and Lebron in the same sentence with either Rondo or the Celtics.....u should feel embarrassed for saying that...smh
 
@ Xinming Kuon

Last year is last year. San Antonio can't play with Miami. Miami is playing very aggressive basketball. As long as they attack the basket they can't lose. The minute they start launching up 3's and long jumpers then that's different. But the way they are attacking its gonna put any teams Bigs in foul trouble and on the bench like what happened to Indiana. This will easily make for an easier way to the rim all night. 
 
+Oscar Solis 
Even the old & injured Celts took LBJ & Wade to OT. I'm a Wade fan, and I'm impressed by the "new" Lebron. But fanboys like you guys make me want the Heat to lose.

Give your opponents their due respect.
 
@ Oscar Solis Who won the game though. Food for thought. If you are a championship team. You don't want your point guard scoring most of the points. Most of the time it will get you there but you wont win. Ask Chicago last year. Ask Chris Paul. Ask Allen Iverson.  
 
when we win tonight and sunday then we'll see whos talking trash about the celtics
 
+Aditya Hoque actually, it was one sentence, you didn't need to hv that period there to try to separate it. +Robert Redway as much I respect your comment, I'll have to disagree with you. You see, all these haters come out talking smack when it comes down to the Heat so I fight fire with fire. Also, I'm def not a fanboy, I'm a grown man and I've been a heat fan for a long time. Plus, to be honest I think highly of the celtics bball skill, it's their arrogant and their fans arrogance that I dislike.
 
Aditya said when WE. Since when did they make u a part of the team. That's funny.
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lebron is the 2nd most hated player in the NBA i think
 
Lebron is also the most loved player in the NBA. That equals to the most talked about. People hated Jordan back in the day when I was growing up. No different. Once he gets rings it will increase both ways.
 
As a side note I love how G+ let's u go back and correct your bad spelling. Especially when typing on a phone. I swear thats when most mistakes happen. Eat your heart out Facebook.
 
Spurs all the way. - A Blazers fan.
 
Spurs lost game 4. They're going to win this series though.
 
Spurs are going to win the series because the thunder have not won on the road and they are going to have to if they want to move on
 
exactly what i need the celtics to do: steal a game in miami
 
u know that aint gonna happen right ?
 
ok then, watch them win tonight
If heat win, i get bragging rights, and if they win (wich they wont) u get bragging rights
 
this is an interesting bet. haha im with the heat on this one
 
HEAT all the way baby. Celtics got lucky earlier. Game 5 HEAT will bounce back big time. Bosh will be back.
 
we didn't get lucky we won with skill!
 
Okc gonna win it all and that's what the nba want is for ock and heat in the finals
 
hahahahahahaha sorry man
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i will be even cooler WHEN the c's win game 5
 
nope
I think they will win like they won against the celtics last year
 
i think the heat will lose like they lost to the mavericks last year
 
whatever
I love the heat, but honestly
i really dont like the coach
 
HUGE WIN IN MIAMI!!! WE ARE ON THE DOORSTEP OF THE FINALS!!!
 
#Celtics can get it done with the #heat but game 7 let's gooooooooooooooo
 
no they cant
right now miami has momentum
 
they also had momentum going into game 3
 
ya but that wasnt game 7, and the heat know that it is do or die
 
ugh i have to study for finals and watch the game :P
 
ha
We took math finals yesterday
 
we have math finals on wednesday and ELA on tuesday
 
I told u the cceltics cant win!!! Miami won!
 
don' rub it in it is a very emotional moment, possibly the last game with allen, pierce, garnett, and rondo in the same uniform. allen and garnett are free agents now i belive
 
garnett is an amazing player and he helped us so much. same with allen
 
all i wanted was to watch them win a finals. together.
 
congratulations to the heat and i hope they fail miserably in the finals again
 
so told u they couldnt win!!!!!
 
if they could have, why didnt they?
 
I love the Heat and OKC so who ever wins is the champs but its going to game 7
 
1st off, that wont happen, Miami will win. And second spell asses right. Idiot
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