The Oklahoma City Thunder‘s series with the Memphis Grizzlies is beginning to look like the physical seven-game series these two teams had in 2011. One thing is for certain in this series: these two teams do not like each other.
The Thunder find themselves in a 1-1 series tie going into Game 3 in Memphis. In order to regain home court advantage, the Thunder need to take a game in Memphis, and Saturday they will have the opportunity to do so.
The Thunder bigs have to keep disrupting Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the post. They both make their bread in the paint, so the Thunder can not make things easy for them. In Game 2, the Grizzlies had 16 offensive rebounds that led to 23 second chance points. The Thunder’s focus is to clean that up, box out on both ends and grab more boards.
Even though the Grizzlies have scorers such as Mike Conley, Gasol and Randolph, they are a defensive-minded team. They forced the Thunder to turn the ball over 19 times in Game 2. The Thunder will have to take care of the ball if they want to win Saturday afternoon. This task will be even more difficult with an energized, roaring Memphis crowd to deal with.
It is pretty much a given that this series is going to be full of excitement. In the past, I’ve often found myself exhausted after watching Thunder-Grizzlies games due to the competitive nature and intensity for the full 48 minutes. This series is certainly shaping up to be the typical bump and bruise type series we have seen in the past.
As fans of basketball, we can only hope to witness more memorable games like what we’ve seen out of this very series. Does anybody remember Game 4 of the 2011 Western Conference semi-finals?