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@Legendary_dork agreed. speaking of great pieces, the piece by zach lowe in SI today on the thunder's defense was fantastic. http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/06/01/spurs-thunder-west-finals/
2 years, 9 months ago on Practice Report: Thunder rejuvenated and ready to roll
the only writer at the oklahoman worth reading is darnell mayberry. it's too bad. they have one of the most exciting teams to cover in the country and yet produce boring generic writing.
@ElMexiThunder Yeah, I agree - i don't think we can play significantly better defense. at some point, you just can't defend great offense. however, i think our offense can be much better than it is today. but i think our system has to evolve to be much more complicated, fluid, and flexible.
2 years, 9 months ago on 3-on-3: Coached up
In the language of organizational and leadership studies, the Thunder face an adaptive challenge rather than a technical one. Technical challenges, like learning a zone defense, or getting better at defending the pick and roll, are ones that can be addressed by developing new skills or learning new techniques. Adaptive challenges cannot be addressed this way - they must be addressed by changing the system, structure, and mindset. I fear that the Thunder are facing an adaptive challenge in the Spurs. And while the team may preach making adjustments like getting better at defending the pick and roll, closing out on the 3-point shooters, etc, when I watch these games, I don't think the Thunder's defense has been for lack of effort or skill. Rather, it is the structure and design of the Spurs offense to create mismatches, capitalize on dribble penetration, and to always find the soft spot in the defense that will enable an open shot. Defending this offense when it is executed to the level the Spurs have executed will not happen with more effort or adjustments.
I fear that this series points to the limitations of talent and athleticism and energy. I believe that OKC is the more physically gifted team. However, the Spurs have a superior offensive system that maximizes the talents of its players and puts incredible pressure on every single defender. And if the Spurs go on to win this series, it will be because they have a better system and players who understand that system and execute it with discipline and creativity.
I am still rooting for the Thunder to win and think they can pull off a game, maybe two, with sheer energy and willpower. That's saying a lot given that no one else has been able to beat this team. But here's hoping that in the offseason, when this series is over, that the Thunder will be able to meet this challenge not just by doing the same thing better but by designing a better system.