As amazing as it was to experience Game 3 and then marvel at the stunning woodshed performance of Game 4, one thought has still remained in the back of my mind, hanging thick and stifling in the air like a dense fog refusing to lift in the face of morning’s light.
They have to win in Los Angeles. The Thunder must steal a game in the Staples Center to win the series.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still celebrating the Thunder holding serve at home just as hard as anyone else, especially with all of the love that the team is receiving nationally, the hype and marvel that the deafening fans and the rocking Thunderdome have sparked across the NBA landscape, and the reality that after four games with the defending champs, this series is all tied up and we’re now looking at a best of three matchup where anything can happen.
But just like Kevin Durant said when Ric Bucher commented that he didn’t seem very surprised or enthusiastic at what the team was able to accomplish in Game 4, “This is a seven game series.”
The time for confetti and shouts of joy ended Sunday morning (or more likely Sunday night, after all, that 21 point demolition deserved an extra half day to savor and celebrate on the Sabbath) because despite the euphoria and electricity permeating the OKC area and probably the entire state/country of Thunder fans, those two games are over and they served their purpose. The Thunder protected their house. And now they have to make like a thief in the night and steal a victory away from the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Like Clark noted rather prophetically last week, nothing changes in a playoff series until the home team loses on their own floor. So even though the momentum has shifted and the Thunder are the clear aggressors in this matchup moving forward, everything is realistically as it should be.
But that’s where things get interesting because as daunting as it may seem for the Thunder to pickup a win in LA, recent history shows that it’s not near as formiddable a task as you might think it is. Keep Reading…