It’s weird to think about it with all the expectation and promise the Thunder team had coming into the 2012-2013 season, but as hard as it is to say this: Oklahoma City’s back is against the wall, as they are one, yes one, game from being eliminated from the playoffs.
Writing that, I just got a tender, grazed, and sad feeling inside of me.
However, instead of worrying about what can happen with a Thunder loss tomorrow night, it’s time to look at what needs to happen in order for the Thunder to win three straight games and make a remarkable comeback in which only 7 teams in the NBA have ever done.
A. Make better coaching decisions
This fact just shakes me up every time I hear it: Kevin Martin logged only 26 minutes last night. Fisher logged only three less minutes, and Jackson logged the same minutes as KD last night. At times, Fisher was on the floor over Martin with less than five minutes to go. How? Why? I don’t understand how you’re second option scoring wise, isn’t on the floor when you need a bucket late in the game.
B. Thabo Sefolosha
Look. It’s clear others need to step up and produce with Westbrook, and Sefolosha is obviously not a known scorer in this league. But, Ibaka went for 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting, Kevin Martin delivered with 18 points off the bench and Jackson had 15. Sefolosha missed out on the party going 1-4 from the field with only five points last night. Not to mention, he let Conley go for 24 points last night.
C. Dumb Mistakes and Turnovers
15 turnovers for the Thunder last night and only 7 for the Grizzlies. Just not going to get it done. Fisher’s turnover late with 22.6 seconds to go was a killer, and the Thunder just couldn’t take care of the ball.
I’m not counting this Oklahoma City team out, but if they want to get back into this series, it’s going to take a lot. Hopefully the Thunder can win tomorrow night, and then all the pressure is on Memphis.