Only eight teams in NBA history have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series.
That’s what the Oklahoma City Thunder will have to do to advance past the Memphis Grizzlies.
After winning Game 1, the Thunder have lost the last three games and look to be in the worst shape they have been all season.
Kevin Durant looks to be wearing down, at least a little, which is unaffordable for the Thunder now that they are without Russell Westbrook too.
Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin stepped up somewhat in Game 4 but the Grizzlies showed why even that won’t be enough to beat them every time.
There’s not a lot that says this Thunder team is ready to win three games in a row against the Grizzlies.
Tonight, they will return home to Oklahoma City where they will probably have the best chance since Game 1 to come away with a win. They will have desperation on their side and a home crowd that is dying to not see this season end.
The real question is just how good this Grizzlies team is. They are on the verge of knocking off a No. 1 seed as a No. 5 seed except that the Thunder aren’t really a No. 1 seed anymore.
You could argue that the Grizzlies have the best center in the league in Marc Gasol. This used to be a huge deal but in recent history doesn’t seem as important. Nevertheless, that definitely counts for a lot and has in this series.
How many power forwards are better than Zach Randolph? Not many who are left in these playoffs. Maybe Chris Bosh or Blake Griffin or Tim Duncan. But Randolph is the only true power forward and offensive powerhouse of that bunch.
The Grizzlies pretty much have the most destructive 4-5 punch in the league and they are playing at a high level right now.
Let’s not also forget that Mike Conley is coming on as one of the breakout players of these playoffs and looking like a very solid starting point guard right now who has been torching the Thunder defense of late.
The odds seem stacked against this Thunder team as much as ever. For OKC to have a chance, we will have to see a completely different game tonight.
But if the Thunder get a win tonight, then they will just need to win once more to force a Game 7 back home. It’t not like the Thunder were blown out in Memphis. They very easily could have won both of those games.
When series change cities, the momentum can often change drastically as well. The Thunder need that to happen tonight.