Los Angeles Lakers (5-5, 4-1 home) vs. OKC Thunder (6-1, 2-1 road)
Thunder lead series 2-1
View from the enemy: Forum Blue and Gold
I’m not sure if I like this quick turnaround or not. The wounds of Game 3 haven’t healed quite yet and it’s hard to get mentally ready to go through the emotional rollercoaster that is an NBA playoff game just 24 hours later. Then again, there’s an opportunity to wash a bad taste away very quickly.
This is the Thunder’s first adversity of the postseason though. The first game that didn’t go their way. Obviously they were close and really should’ve won the game, but it’s the playoffs. Losing a game is to be expected. It’s not a cakewalk. It’s never fun to drop one and the world kind of feels like it’s crashing in when it happens, but you’ve got to bounce back, get up and move on.
Because if not, then things start getting scary. It feels like you can say any game in the playoffs is extremely important, but Game 4 certainly has implications. A win for OKC and the Thunder bring home the chance to close the series out on their home floor. A loss, and it’s 2-2 making Game 5 extremely critical (and terrifying).
OKC needs to focus on re-establishing Russell Westbrook though. He was a menace in Game 1, held down in Game 2, and was average in Game 3. After registering nine assists in the first game, he only had one Friday. Westbrook is the head of the snake. When you cut him off, you have a good chance to control the one of the best offenses in the NBA. Kevin Durant was able to score well in Game 3 and James Harden did his efficient thing. But Westbrook, while he finished with 21, wasn’t all that effective.
The Thunder are better than the Lakers. I’m thoroughly convinced of that. But that doesn’t mean that this series is theirs or that they should expect an easy win. They have to go take it. All signs point positively to a Thunder advantage tonight, which is an uneasy feeling.
Tip at 9:30 CT. Go Get It.