Preview: The OKC Thunder battle their former for the Grizzlies in regular season finale

MEMPHIS, TN - FEBRUARY 14: Russell Westbrook
MEMPHIS, TN - FEBRUARY 14: Russell Westbrook /
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81 games are in the books. As the OKC Thunder prepare for their final game of the regular season. They will face their former rival the Memphis Grizzlies.

The wild roller-coaster known as the 2017-18 NBA season is coming to a close for the OKC Thunder. Fear not Thunder Nation regardless of the outcome of tonight’s contest the Thunder will be in the postseason. Seeding is TBD.

The playoffs are never a guarantee, they are a privilege. Only sixteen of the 30 teams qualify for the playoffs. Some will argue if over half the league qualifies how special is it? “They should just change the format” in this scribes opinion there are few things better than playoff basketball. Personally I enjoy the format.

It can not be stressed enough to not take a playoff berth for granted. Just ask the Atlanta Hawks as their streak of ten consecutive playoff appearances came to an end this season. It was the second longest active streak, behind only the San Antonio Spurs.

Moreover, the Thunder can not over look the Grizzlies tonight, despite Memphis holding the second worst record in the NBA. If you watch Inside the NBA on TNT you may have heard Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith do their infamous “One, two, three Cancun” chant. That is where the Grizzlies currently stand, however they are still an NBA team and Oklahoma City must bring the same level of focus as they did in their previous two games.

The Grizzlies perspective

A lot can change in four seasons. During the 2013-14 season the OKC Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies played a classic first round series that included four consecutive overtime games. It set an NBA record which is still in place today.

After seven consecutive trips to the playoffs and one conference finals appearance the Grizzlies were officially eliminated from playoff contention on March 10th 2018.

Furthermore, the Grizzlies have been overtaken by a myriad of injuries this season. Namely starters Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Chandler Parsons. The Grizzlies have $74,284,962 owned to those three player alone this season. The trio appeared in 121 out of a possible 246 games.

In Contrast the Thunder’s trio of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George will earn $74,283,326 this season. While appearing in 234 out of a possible 246 games.

With that, let’s jump into the final three keys of the regular season.