Scott Howard-Cooper from NBA.com joined Grant today to talk about the NBA Playoffs. Scott is covering the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs series. He talked about how the Oklahoma City area is generally all about college sports, but the fans have embraced the NBA more than anyone could have ever expected. He said that Oklahoma City is a lot like Sacramento because the Thunder isn’t just a team, but they’re part of the community.
Next, Scott and Grant talked about the Spurs’ 20-point loss in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Scott said that the Thunder displayed the effort and focus that their head coach, Scott Brooks wanted to see. Oklahoma City down 2-0 in the series played like it was an elimination game by leaving it all on the court and playing hard for all 48 minutes. Scott said that San Antonio will respond, and despite game 3, this is still the Spurs’ series to lose.
Grant also asked about comparing this Spurs team to the last Spurs team to win a championship. Scott said that the conversation is fascinating because the teams are so different. He said that no team with long term success in the NBA has ever been so drastically different over time. The Spurs used to win using a ton of defense, but now they have shifted to more of an offensive approach. Scott said that the shift in philosophy while maintaining success speaks to the greatness of Gregg Popovich as a head coach.
Finally, Scott and Grant discussed the NBA Draft Lottery. Scott said he isn’t surprised that fans continue to say the lottery is fixed. He thinks that people assume the NBA isn’t fair because the Tim Donaghy refereeing scandal negatively affected the league’s image. In other sports, if a ref blows a call or something, it is just a “blown call.” Only in the NBA do people assume a fix is in. Grant and Scott talked about why the system is not fixed like many fans think it is, however both agree that the lottery system is flawed and requires change.