No encore for the Thunder

Three reasons OKC won't bounce back against the Spurs for a second time

Updated: May 22, 2014, 1:00 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

Serge Ibaka Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty ImagesOklahoma City certainly feels the loss of 6-10 big man Serge Ibaka on both sides of the floor.

This feels like déjà vu.

The San Antonio Spurs put a beating on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 to go up 2-0 in the series. The Thunder can't do anything right and the Spurs can do no wrong. Just one veteran team outclassing a young, star-studded squad.

But we thought that in 2012, and the Thunder made us all look like idiots. After falling behind by two games, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook's squad ripped off four straight wins to earn a trip to the Finals, proving that two wins in a series is just that: two wins.

It's different this time around. The Spurs haven't just gotten two wins; it's two blowouts. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, only four teams have ever come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two games by double digits. While it's tempting to draw parallels to the 2012 Western Conference finals matchup and think the Thunder can pull off another miraculous comeback, the circumstances are dire.

Here are three reasons the Spurs will finally bury the Thunder and history won't repeat itself.

Serge Ibaka is not walking through that door

To steal a line from the infamous rant by former Celtics coach Rick Pitino, Ibaka is, indeed, not walking through that door. As GM Sam Presti and coach Scott Brooks have emphasized over and over, Ibaka's calf strain will knock him out for the entire postseason. After two games, it's clear the Thunder dearly miss their 6-foot-10 big man and his ability to stabilize their front line on both ends of the floor.