And so the weirdest and strangest regular season in Thunder history comes to a close with the Thunder beating a 29 win Detroit team by one point at home. The Thunder needed a pig to fly, hell to get cold, and Derek Fisher to block a shot at the rim just to get Durant the ball with a chance to show Detroit the door slam.
They got all that and Durant rattled walls till the mirrors fell. The two seed, and Memphis, are ours now. The most wonderful time of the year is here.
* * *
It’s appropriate that it’s Memphis. It should be this way. It seems that while the world has been trying to make the Heat or the Spurs the Thunder’s rivals, it’s really just been the Griz the whole time. We cannot escape them, nor they us. Really excited about the number of Jon Leuer jokes we’ll all be able to make.
There is little to say about them that Thunder fans don’t know. It’s Z-Bo and Conley and Gasol. Courtney Lee matters again. Tony Allen is back healthy and people will probably retweet him a lot in the coming weeks so, you know, get excited for that. There will be yellow Grindhouse towels and people will probably fire off gifs of that one court-side glasses wearing kid in the Grizzlies jersey with the half sleeve who’s pumped up beyond belief. There will be stories of how delicious their barbecue is and how fun Beale Street is and Twitter will work itself into a tizzy over the FedEx Forum’s DJ, wondering aloud to the social cyber gods how someone working at a basketball arena knows about Run The Jewels.
Timberlake might make an appearance. He’ll be wearing some kind of hat that isn’t a baseball hat. We’ll see shots of BB King and BB King’s and when we’re forced to listen to Fratello call a game it’ll be completely and utterly unbearable, his heart still in Memphis, somehow.
It’ll be the series where we’re either reminded why we kept Perk, or why we need to get rid of him. Adams will get a fiery baptism and either sink or swim. Ibaka will get into it with Randolph and Gasol and so will Perk and so will, probably, Adams for that matter.
People will call Conley underrated and marvel at his poise and his patience. We’ll have to hear stories about how he’s ambidextrous. They’ll show his Dad on screen a lot. Someone will talk about Oden.
Westbrook will have an explosion or two, both good and bad, and there will be talk of what a point guard should be. Then he’ll hit a three he shouldn’t have taken and everyone will go, “But see?!”
Durant and Allen will get to know each other once again as they’ll be providing far and away the best vignette of scenes in this movie of a series. The Grizzlies will be physical. That is their MO. The Thunder will hit back. They always have. It’ll be great.
It feels right to see Memphis again. It feels familiar, but not in a bad way. Like the bed that you get to sleep in when you’re at your grandparents or something. I don’t know. I’m not trying to put my metaphors onto your human experience.
It’s Durant vs. Allen.
Perk vs. Z-Bo.
The Grindhouse vs. The Peake.
“Goblin” vs. “Starships”.
Timberlake vs. Hader.
Thunder vs. Grizzlies.
Let us party.