The playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies have shocked many of us. Before the start of the match up, many people believed that the Thunder offense would become too overwhelming for the eight-seeded Grizzlies. To everyone’s surprise, Memphis has been able to offset the Thunder offense by rebounding and playing sound defense for 48 minutes, continuously keeping the Thunder within grasp.
After Memphis had won Game 6 on Friday night, the series tied at 3-3 then shifts back to Oklahoma City for the Game 7 finale. This would be the first Game 7 series of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. If you were looking for drama, then nothing gets better than this!
With all the hype surrounding both teams, the true pressure will hang on the Thunder’s shoulders. The last and final game of the series will be played at home in Oklahoma City. Playing in front of the Thunder fans is always a great advantage for the home team. Beating the Memphis Grizzlies will surely be a tough task, but the Oklahoma City Thunder should have enough weapons to get the job done.
According to research, The Thunder is ranked first in the playoffs in overall scoring averaging 103 points per game. Oklahoma City is also ranked first in defense posting above average statistics in rebounds, blocks, and steals in the playoffs. Not to mention, the Thunder has Kevin Durant, the second leading scorer in the playoffs with 28 points per game.
It will be entirely up to the Thunder to set the tempo early. If the stars of the team [Westbrook and Durant] are able to control the pace of the game through their half court offense, it will eliminate any fast break points for the Grizzlies. Oklahoma City Thunder is a better team than the Memphis Grizzlies, but the team that dominates the paint will win. Currently, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph of the Grizzlies are both averaging 11 rebounds a game, a statistic that needs to be erased in Game 7 in order for the Thunder to advance to the next round.
Momentum has always been the deciding factor in every Game 7 showdown in NBA history. The Oklahoma City Thunder will strike early in this game and gain control. There will be bumps in the road on Sunday, but nothing will stop one of the youngest NBA stars, Kevin Durant, from finally engraving his mark in the NBA playoffs.
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