Apr 29, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts to a call in action against the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder: Three Keys To The Thunder Keeping Their Season Alive

Apr 29, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) dribbles the ball as Memphis Grizzlies forward Tayshaun Prince (21) defends during the third quarter in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports



It’s pretty crazy to think that the Thunder are a game away from being eliminated.

With all the hype of Westbrook returning, the ridiculousness of Kevin Durant, and the Finals expectations, the Thunder are just a game away from losing in the first round.

Although, as negative and pessimistic as things are surrounding Oklahoma City at the moment, the Thunder still have an opportunity to make a run.  Going into Memphis and playing in a hostile environment, playing the way Oklahoma City is and winning won’t be easy. However, if the Thunder can accomplish these three keys, they have a shot:

1. Defending:

You can talk about the struggles on offense all you’d like, but the main reason of the Thunder failures as of late is their defensive. In the three loses to the Grizzlies, Oklahoma City gave up 111(Game 2), 98(Game 3), and 100(Game 5) points. It seems like every time the Thunder get a nice bucket, Memphis comes down nonchalantly and scores with ease. The opening quarters defensively have been unacceptable. Last night, the Thunder gave up 30 first quarter points, and 25 second quarter points. The only reason why the Thunder kept the game close was because they held Memphis to just 35 second half points. All season long, OKC struggled with rotating to shooters, and this series is no different as Mike Miller exploded for 21 points last night (5-8 from deep). Unless I’m missing something, this Memphis offense isn’t that dynamic and unstoppable. Something has got to change with this Thunder defense in order for them to win Game 6

2. Kevin Durant waking up:

The league’s likely MVP went on a tear this regular season. So far in the playoffs, he just doesn’t look like himself. Sometimes I even forget he is on the floor, because he is playing the “decoy” role and being passive. After the game, Durant said,” Sometimes you’ve got to be a decoy out there and I’m fine with that.” However, he can’t be ‘decoy’ when OKC is down and in need of instant offense. The best scorer in the world should be touching the ball on every possession, and should be taking more than 30 shots a game.

 3. Some sense of urgency:

This is the best way to put it: The Thunder are a game away from being eliminated. A GAME AWAY!!! If the Thunder lose, this organization is in deep trouble with a lot of questions to be answered.  Can the Thunder please just wake up and play with a sense of urgency for once this series?

Game 6 in tomorrow night in Memphis. Oh boy.

Tags: Kevin Durant Memphis Grizzlies NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Real M-Fing talk !!!

    Not even god needs to take 30 shots a game… Anyone that needs to take 30 when you are not shooting above 60 percent is hurting the team in the long run, because it takes shot away from players, zero ball movement and when it’s time for other to make shots, they are not in rhythm… if Durant was truly the MVP he would start on defense by stepping up, instead of hiding and guarding the other teams third and sometimes fourth scoring option… Then Kevin would stop throwing shot up after
    shots and get in the post force the other team to move… and finally
    Durant will take charge like a true MVP leader should… Kevin thinks
    when the ball is in his hands, it’s his Q to score, how about making
    plays for your other teams… The NBA are getting the other awards right
    but will swing on miss on the MVP big time… You do not take the award
    out of the hands of a player who leads his team in points, rebounds,
    assist and is his team best defender… that is the true definition of a
    MVP not a guy that leads the NBA in shot attempts and free throws, if
    Durant had to lead his lead in scoring, rebounding, assist and be their
    best defender OK would not make the playoffs muchless win a ring !….
    so why is it being ignored what the player in south beach is doing? Now that’s 2 MVP’s that would have been stolen from James… A pass first player who maybe the only 40,000+ scorer, 10,000+ rebounder and assist, 3000+ steals and 1000+ blocks and people wonder why he maybe the the greatest ever.