The Spurs and the Thunder played a pretty exciting Western Conference finals series last postseason, and if things shake out the way they're expected to, we could be seeing a grudge match this year.
Every year, everyone expects the Spurs to finally slow down due to age, but every year, they defy expectations and quietly dominate in the same fundamental way that they've trademarked in the Tim Duncan era.
Oklahoma City had some close calls in that series last season, with only one out of the six games being decided by double-digits. It took a 2-0 series comeback for the Thunder to down the Spurs, but that was thanks to some late-game heroics by OKC.
Should these teams meet once more in the playoffs this year, it shouldn't be any different. This means that the Thunder need to focus on finishing strong in close contests, especially since the Spurs are a well-coached veteran team that plays well down the stretch.
We saw a bit of this earlier this season, in Oklahoma City's season opener where they lost on a buzzer-beating jumper at the hands of Tony Parker. The Thunder could have avoided that situation completely if not for some bad shots and costly turnovers in crunch time.
If the Thunder let even one close game slip past them in the postseason, it could end up costing them the momentum in the series, something the Spurs may not give back.
San Antonio has some tough defenders on the team that could frustrate OKC's players in crunch time, leading to some forced shots (I'm looking at you Russell Westbrook). So it is up to the Thunder to stay calm and collected in order to score when they need to and get stops with the game on the line.