At RealGM, a look at how the Western Conference Finals could mark the end of an era:
And after five games in the Western Conference Finals, one thing is clear: if Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook can get to the rim, there's no one on San Antonio’s roster who can stop them from finishing. Several times in Game 5, Duncan could do nothing but try to take a charge as the Thunder's young stars contorted in the air around him for a layup.
Popovich has reenacted Pat Riley's career journey, from the Showtime Lakers to the clutch-and-grab New York Knicks, in reverse. His teams have gone from playing a halfcourt oriented defensive system to a free-flowing, fast-paced offensive one, an evolution that has mirrored the league's as a whole, now that the first generation of players who grew up in the post-Jordan era have begun to take over the NBA.
But while San Antonio has done their best to adapt to the new era, Oklahoma City has a chance to define it. The Thunder, without a low post scorer or a frontcourt player capable of creating their own shot, run their offense through the perimeter, with three young stars sharing the spotlight and the ball.