Thunder (3-2, 1-1 road) vs. Rockets (2-3, 1-1 home)
Thunder lead 3-2
View from the enemy: Red 94
I think everyone has calmed down a bit. The anxiety and nervousness still persists, and it will until this postseason is over, but the sheer terror and “it’s over they’re done!” panic seems to have subsided after that horrific Game 5. There’s been a realization that Kevin Durant still plays for the Thunder, and that the Rockets surely can’t make everything they shoot again, right? Right!?!
It might be a calm before the storm situation though. There’s a confidence again that the Thunder can get this over with, because they just have to win tonight. One more game, one more time scoring more points than the opponent. Figure out a way to make it happen, figure out a way to advance. Then worry about what happens next later.
It won’t be easy and the Thunder will certainly have to do better than Game 5. But don’t forget: The Thunder were within an eyelash of sweeping this series. Had Serge Ibaka not missed, this might be over with and we wouldn’t be asking all these questions. But this is where things stand and the Thunder have one more game to win.
Three Big Things
1. Kevin Martin. To me, without question, this is the biggest game of Kevin Martin’s career. After a 1-10 deuce in Game 5, the Thunder need him desperately to score. His importance has increased with Westbrook’s injury and for the most part, he hasn’t risen to the occasion. Is he choking in his second (but kind of first) playoff experience ever? Is he feeling the pressure? His team needs him tonight in the worst possible way.
2. Caught out. The Thunder can’t get caught out in transition and half-transition opportunities. The Rockets aren’t necessarily breaking, but they are hustling the ball up the floor and looking for shooters before OKC’s defense can really dig in. The Thunder have to find those shooters, and match up.
3.”Play better.” I agree with this, Scotty. Playing better would help a lot.
Tip at 8:30 CT. Go Please.