The Oklahoma City Thunder find themselves in a hole as they enter Game 3 with a 2-0 series deficit to the San Antonio Spurs in the Eastern Conference Finals. With the status of Serge Ibaka still in air heading into Sunday, Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks is considering a change to the starting lineup in hopes of reducing the deficit as the series continues in Oklahoma City.
“We’ve made changes before. I think it’s definitely — we have some time to think about that,” Brooks said after practice on Saturday. “I don’t have to get into the specifics right now. The game is over 30 hours from now. We have some time. We’ll see.”
The Thunder inserted Nick Collison into the starting lineup in Ibaka’s absence, however, Steven Adams took the biggest part of the load left behind by earning 33 minutes of playing time in Game 2.
Perry Jones also saw a bump in playing time after only averaging 3 minutes throughout the playoffs.
The Thunder struggled throughout Game 2, allowing the Spurs to eclipse 30+ points in both the second and third quarters on the game. While Danny Green was the beneficiary of a solid performance that pushed the Spurs to victory, Tim Duncan caused problems for the Thunder, who were relying on Serge Ibaka to match up well with the 14-time all-star.
Oklahoma City could opt for a smaller lineup by inserting Caron Butler into the lineup, pushing Tim Duncan onto guarding Kevin Durant on the perimeter.
Whatever move occurs will heavily depend on if Serge Ibaka is cleared for game 3, which is presumed to be unlikely at this point.