Almost 24 hours have passed since the madness at the Peake last night.
The KD 4-point play, Conley’s missed free throw, and Perk(!!)’s buzzer beater all gave me the belief that it was fate that Oklahoma City win game 2. But, in the overtime, the Thunder looked just as bad as they did in the first three quarters, and Memphis took advantage of that.
As bad as the Thunder played last night, you have to give the Grizzlies credit. Randolph and Gasol were dominant, and frankly, Tony Allen did a terrific job on the league’s MVP last night.
Whichever you want to look at it, the Thunder lost to a par Grizzlies team last night at home(!!), didn’t look themselves, and are now in a difficult situation tied in the series going to Memphis for two games.
So now, the big question going through Thunder fans’ heads is: Is it time to panic?
Here are reasons to panic:
Reggie Jackson in Game 1 was a big factor with nine points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Reggie Jackson in Game 2? 0-5 from the floor, with only two points (on free-throws), just assists and two turnovers. Oklahoma City will need Jackson to produce, and help the bench make some noise. Last night, OKC’s bench scored just 14 points; meanwhile, the Grizzlies’ bench produced 33 points.
Moreover, Memphis’ bigs have dominated the paint in both games. Yes, Kendrick Perkins did hit that buzzer-beater to send that game to OT. But, Zach Randolph also went off 25 points on 10-20 from the field, in case you were unaware. Perkins and Ibaka need to do a better job containing Randolph and try to limit his touches and make him uncomfortable.
Why not to panic:
The Grizzlies shot 49.4% from the floor last night and 40% from deep. It seemed like every time the Thunder scored, Memphis had a response. I keep going back on forth with myself trying to determine if it’s poor defense from OKC or just the Grizzlies making tough shots. All I know is that it is highly unlikely the Grizzlies will shoot nearly 50% from the floor for five more games.
If you watched any other part of last night’s games besides the last four minutes of regulation, you would know that the league’s MVP struggled a bit last night. Through 28 minutes, he was just 5-15 from the floor with just 13 points and three assists. It was an uncharacteristic performance from KD and Memphis took advantage of that. Do not expect Durant to have an off night like last night anymore, Grizzlies fans.
This Thunder team is so experienced, and resilient that it is so hard to say there is a reason to panic. You know that Kevin Durant isn’t satisfied with his performance; you know that Perkins is a bit upset with Randolph getting whatever he wants so easily. Reggie Jackson is playing his worst basketball, so he can only play better. I have trouble going against this Thunder team and saying they are in trouble.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are not going to let OKC lose this series.