2013 NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City Thunder on the Ropes

By Jared Porter
Thunder on the brink
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

One game at a time.

That will be the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s mindset as they attempt to make a series comeback of historical relevance against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder have had opportunities in every game of the series to pull out a win, but the undermanned — and arguably overmatched — team is now down 3-1 in the series, and are facing elimination.

The key to victory for the Thunder is the same as it’s been the entire series: rebound the ball, contain the Grizzlies’ bigs in the post and find scoring options outside of Kevin Durant.

The Thunder are 3-5 in the absence of Russell Westbrook in the playoffs,  but seem to be figuring things out offensively game-to-game. The void which Westbrook left on this team is seemingly comparable to the Grand Canyon, or Pacific Ocean, or whatever analogy that can be used to signify great size.

Truth be told, adversity is nothing the Thunder has not gone through in its history. Whether it be the Jeff Green trade to the Boston Celtics, falling in a 2-0 series hole against the San Antonio Spurs in last year’s Western Conference finals, the James Harden trade to the Houston Rockets, the Westbrook injury shortly into this year’s playoffs … or being down 3-1 in this year’s Western Conference semifinals.

Adversity has shaped this Thunder team, transformed them into one of those teams with the most valuable characteristic in the NBA: resiliency.

The point I am trying to make is that this Thunder team can not be counted out until the clock strikes zero, and they have lost their fourth game in a series. Coming back and winning three straight games against the Grizzlies seems like a long shot, but it seems more possible if you think of it as one game at a time.

Plus, how can you bet against the almighty KD?

Jared Porter is an Oklahoma City Thunder writer for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Follow him on Twitter @JaredRyanPorter, or add him on Facebook

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