Or could they… potentially win the NBA championship?
Hear the Thunder! Watch the Grizzlies attack!
Traditionally, most of the attention and excitement of the NBA playoffs and anticipated match ups, has occurred in the expected locales…the usual places..South Beach, Bean town, LA, Chi-town….Oklahoma City?
Based on what we have seen so far the talk of the town is elsewhere: the unlikely cities of Oklahoma City and Memphis, their match up looks like it may turn out to be the most exciting of all series.
They got no Lebron, D-Wade, a Kobe or a Rose;
What no superstar? we shouldn’t turn up our nose.
We have seen two gritty hard fought games so far …more to come. For a team (Memphis) who early on this season couldn’t fill its arena, both cities have awakened, fans have turned out and their teams do not disappoint.
Without the glam and fanfare associated with the other playoff teams, these “underdogs no more” are quickly accruing a following. People are jumping on the bandwagon. These two teams are considered contenders.
Some may say that outside of Durant and Randolph, perhaps Westbrook and Gasol, these teams have a bunch of “no name” players who without the superstar recognition are getting the job done.
Team play: everyone is involved. In Game 2, the Thunder had strong stand up play from those coming off the bench (Harden, Maynor, Cook) to lead them to the win. Depth has paid off royally.
How will it all turn out? Too many variables Too many what if’s…hard to do a multivariate analysis on this one. It looks like it will depend largely upon who shows up to play on a particular night. Overall, the Thunder may be able to outshoot the Grizzlies, they otherwise are pretty evenly matched by most accounts…most importantly evenly matched with the desire to win. One thing is for sure it is going to be a hard fought series.
In question: Ibaka’s knee: he limped off the court last night, though his back up Collison played admirably, Randolph and Gasol: held in check in Game 2 (it is doable, stop these guys you can stop Memphis), Home court advantage: Memphis now travels home and likely acquires an advantage?, The Bench: Can players from both teams come off the bench and continue to unexpectedly (some say) step up and put up big numbers? Durant: Durant is Durant and will continue the consistent play he has shown us all year.
Who will win the series? Which of the two may prove to be the unlikely team to be reckoned with? A contender from a city not previously recognized for its professional sports. At this point, it’s anybody’s guess….It’s anybody’s series.