OKC Thunder (7-3, 2-2 road) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (6-5, 4-1 home)
Series: OKC leads 3-2
View from the enemy: 3 Shades of Blue
This is where you hope past experience really does mean something. Where you hope the Thunder learned, developed and evolved a bit. Game 4 on the road in Denver with a chance to close, Oklahoma City was right there, but a number of elements prevented the Thunder from finishing it out. It was on the road against a team with a ton of pride and good home crowd. It was tough.
So did they learn something? Did they take anything from that? If so, now’s the time to remember it and use it. Beating Memphis in Game 6 tonight will be a serious challenge. Almost more because of the butt-kicking in Game 5. The Grizzlies may or may not care about the perceived showboating, but I would assume they’ve got more of an issue with getting worked by 27 in the biggest game of the series.
The Thunder have done a terrific job containing the Grizzlies’ big guys and forcing other players to beat them. If that happens again, I think the Thunder can actually cruise a bit again. But Memphis will be a team playing with emotion and their arena is going to try and will them to a win.
This feels like a game where OKC is in need of a Kevin Durant performance that we talk about for a while. This game will likely be within a possession or two in the fourth quarter and here’s where Durant and Russell Westbrook will have to get together and finish off the Grizzlies.
If the game comes back to OKC, it’s not the end of the world. But it’s better to just handle things there and get it over with. The Thunder have the momentum and made a clear, loud statement in Game 5. Time to make another.
Tip at 8:00 CT. Go Finish.