As the Thunder gear up for the final stretch of the season one thing that will be interesting to look at his how they react to the increased intensity down the stretch as playoff teams kick it up a not for the last month and a half getting ready for the playoffs and trying to get better playoff position. None of these guys have played in meaningful NBA games at the end of the season. Only Krstic really has any experience playing in these types of games and that was 5+ years ago. W
We saw Portland struggle with this a couple of years ago as they faded out of the playoffs 2 years ago. Last year they were much better and more prepared for the stretch run and understood that the pressure/intensity kicks up to another level. Obviously, these guys KNOW that things will get more intense, but knowing and actually experiencing it are 2 different things.
We've see a little bit of it so far this last week. San Antonio is starting to kick their game up. I think we saw some of it against Denver. The team seemed tight and Durant seemed especially tight yesterday. Missing 2 FTs, missing some easy shots around the rim, seemed like the intensity of the game may have gotten the best of the young Thunder team.
I don't think this team is going to miss the playoffs, but I think it will be interesting how they play against playoff teams down the stretch, and even against teams like Houston/New Orleans, teams that still have playoff hopes and have experience but are fighting to get into the playoffs.