Barring a miracle to happen, its gonna be Memphis vs OKC. Who do you got?
Without Westbrook, I'm going with Memphis here (4-2). Durant cant win it all by himself especially against a GREAT defensive team. Durant will not get a great look on offense due to the trio of Prince, Allen and Pondexter. In short he'll be struggling. I expect a great series for Conley and Bayless and the usual stats for Randolph and Gasol
Zach Randolph too hood lol
Ok back to the subject:
I got Memphis beating OKC 4-3
Memphis is the best Defensive team in the L, OKC struggled with Houston, how are they going to shake Memphis?
I've got Memphis in this series.
They struggled to beat one of, if not THE, worst defensive teams in the association. They (Martin and Jackson) are going to have a tough time scoring in the 2nd round. Durant is going to get his and I wouldn't doubt he averages 35 PPG next series but everyone else is going to get shut down.
Memphis is a tough matchup for OKC, especially without Westbrook. This entire series comes down to how well Conley breaks down Jackson and the OKC defense.
I'm going with Memphis in six. Z-Bo will be too much for Ibaka and the Grizzlies should really limit OKC's transition opportunities. OKC is not going to get as many open jumpers as they usually do, especially without Westbrook. OKC will really miss Westbrook in this series, as he is the one guy who could really push the tempo and get Memphis's bigs in foul trouble. Durant will probably score enough to keep OKC in the series and win a few games, but Memphis should be able to contain the damage.
And I worry about OKC's ability to defend the Grizzlies, as Z-Bo versus Ibaka is a big mismatch and Gasol is the type of big who should be able to succeed against Perkins. Two years ago, Perkins really struggled to defend Gasol and Gasol has really improved since then. And it will be tough for OKC to go small to spread out Memphis because they really won't want Durant defending Z-Bo or Gasol, and even Darrel Arthur could be a problem for Durant to defend.
Grizz were impressive verse the clippers. Came back down 0-2. Forgothow much of a veteran team this is with tony allen tayshaun z-bo andMarc gasol knows tournament basketball.
As much as I love my Thunder, I really have my doubts for this series. I would have actually preferred to play the Clippers.
I'd like to hope we can at least extend it to 7 games with Grizz winning 4-3, but realistically I think it will be Grizz 4-2.
I have the same feeling here. Realistically the Grizzlies may make it in 5 or even 4 games if they can play their strenghts out in the post and if they find a way to defend Martin and KD.
On the other hand I hope the Thunder show what they are made of. Collison, Perk and Ibaka are still one of the best defending big men rotations and maybe Thabeet will provide some defensive pressure.
To me it's great to see that Reggie Jackson played 44 mins last game and hopefully Brooks gives him a chance to prove himself and doesn't pull him out early if he struggles. Conley will dominate Fisher if Reggie isn't playing and the only way to win this thing for the Thunder is rebound well, defending the post and trying to get Memphis' bigs into Foul trouble. Durant and Martin should try to attack as much as possible not trying to win this in NY shooting style.
The first turning point for the Thunder after improving year by year. If they fail, I see changes coming this summer cause finalcial flexibility is not going to get better when Ibakas extension Kicks in and Martin may have to leave to adress the need for a post player which is the biggest need to fill.
It all depends on what the Thunder will make with their pick this year. If they can get a decent big man like Len, Zeller or Adams they may pay Martin which I don't think is the best option right now. Durant really needs a backup at the 3 next year. This may make room to switch Ibaka to the 5 and Durant to the 4 more often in a Dirk kind of role.
I hope the Thunder will make it but I'm not really a believer right now. This may also show how valuable Russ really is to this team. He gets bashed all the time but in reality he is an all NBA player and they are winning because of him and not despite.
If the Thunder can play their style of play this may be a very long series which is perfect for San Antonio who will finish the Warriors in assassin style.
If the Grizz control the paint like they did against the Clips they will win it in 5 but The Thunder Frontcourt is MUCH better defensively than what a injured Blake and an athlete called DeAndre have to offer.
Free throw shooting and rebounding will be the Key to this series.
So I will take the Thunder to shake the Grizzlies in 6.
so much support for Memphis. I can't help but think to many people are jumping on memphis to fast. It will definitely depend on how OKC can control the front court of Memphis. Will be a great series nevertheless
I think OKC matches up pretty well with Memphis from a defensive standpoint, they have the length and savvy to defend Z-Bo and Gasol in the post, Thabo will slow down Conley and Jackson should be able to handle Bayless.
As much as OKC will struggle to score, I think Memphis will be in a similar situation, Houston was actually a very good match for OKC because they did most of their scoring in transition and off dribble penetration - two things OKC doesn't defend particularly well.
I feel like Houston had a better chance of beating OKC than Memphis because they are just LOADED with scorers/shooters, whereas Memphis is a grit and grind team, which will mean Durant can have a greater impact than he would in a high-scoring affair.
I'm going with the Thunder in 5, to hell with the naysayers.
I'd have to disagree with you there. KD is great and all, but where's the offense going to come from?
OKC had problems trying to put away the Thunder. What does that say about them minus Westbrook? The team just lacks the intensity that Westbrook brings.
I'd say Grizz in 6.
The offense is going to come from KD for the most part, and it looks like Scott Brooks has finally realised that Kevin Martin just officially became more important than Thabo, with consistent minutes he'll be a good enough second option in a low-scoring affair.
Assuming you mean OKC had problems putting away the Rockets, I'm fairly certain I addressed that in the post above^
OKC didn't match up well against Houston without Westbrook because they didn't have enough scoring options to keep up with the fast-pace which made Durant's numbers less relevant, and their defensive front-court had little impact because so much of Houston's scoring came off the perimeter and transition.
However, Memphis isn't a particularly gifted offensive team, they don't shoot that well from outside and get by on slowing the game down and grinding it out - which actually suits the Thunder more because it means Durant doesn't have to score 50 to keep pace with the Grizz.
You could say that they lacked intensity without Westbrook, or you could say that they were adjusting to playing without a guy who hadn't missed a game his whole career, played big minutes and dominated the ball when he was on the court. It's hard to be intense when you don't know what your role has completely changed.
To sum; Martin and Durant will provide the bulk of the scoring, the front-court group of Ibaka, Perkins, Collison and Thabeet will work on slowing Gasol/Z-Bo, and Thabo will slow down Conley with his length and quickness.
This may or may not happen, but that's how I could see the Thunder winning, and that's what I think will happen. They'll defend home-court, steal one in Memphis and then close it out in OKC in Game 5.
Without Westbrook, if the Thunder are playing Thabeet or Perkins alongside Collison, they are going to be limited offensively. It will be really easy for the Grizzlies to double Durant in that case. And, honestly, I think Gasol and Z-Bo are plenty good enough to score on Thabeet and Collison.
Memphis may play a slow game, but that doesn't mean they aren't gifted offensively. Their offensive efficiency this season was above average and has been much better since they traded Gay. And look what they did to the Clippers. Sure, the Clippers weren't exactly playing great, but Houston isn't known as a defensive powerhouse and its defense gave OKC even more trouble than the Clippers gave the Thunder. I think you underestimate the Grizzlies' ability to score. They don't put up huge per game numbers all the time because of their grind-it-out style, but that doesn't mean they aren't a good offensive team. Just look at how they destroyed the Clips defense in game 6. OKC wouldn't have done that.
If OKC is forced to play two offensively limited bigs at all times in an effort to grind out Memphis, the Grizzlies will win. They aren't going to lose because Hasheem Thabeet shuts down Mark Gasol. If OKC is to win, they have to push the tempo, get easy buckets, and play very efficient offense. If the series turns into a halfcourt grind, that favors the Grizzlies.
Will be close, with OKC still being favorites.
It will depend on how Durant plays. I think he will have to have his best series for them to advance.
OKC showed much more concerning things in round 1 than Memphis did. They were fortunate to win game 2, extremely lucky to win game 3, lost games 4 and 5, and basically won game 6 because Martin, Jackson, and Fisher all played really good, something that is going to be near impossible to replicate in multiple games in a series.
Memphis in six.
I like the possible matchup between Gasol and Ibaka as each relies on a very different skill set than the other. Perk + Randolph is also a great matchup, and I secretly hope Durant gets into it with Randolph at some time or another.
Bayless should have a good series if Brooks sticks Fisher on him. Not looking forward to that or Brooks out-thinking himself in any other situation.
Actually, both coaches are weirdos, but Vinny del Negro is eliminated. So at least there's that.