The Thunder are back at home in the Chesapeake to try and finish off the Spurs tonight. Tonight's game will be the opposite of easy. It is time for the culmination of everything they've learned thus far about the Spurs and themselves to come out and slam the door shut.
Is tonight a must-win close-out game? My vote is 'yes.'
"Our guys they have really high expectations of themselves both individually and as a team. We don’t talk about it, we don’t pound our chests, we don’t tell everybody how good we are. We feel our worth is through our work and if we continue to work hard and play together we’re gonna have some good results." - Scott Brooks
The Thunder are morphing into a powerhouse that is nowhere near close to their ultimate potential. But they still have to win tonight.
Lowe chronicles the steady development and improvement of the Thunder. What is remarkable is that they are learning to play, even as this very season has gone on.
Abbott writes a great piece here on how role players, when they get open, are often better options than a superstar trying to do everything. We have seen that reality unfold in this series, as Durant has often played the set-up man for other players such as Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha.
Interesting idea from Strauss here, that cracks the shell of the mystique behind "drafting a dominant big man:"
The 2007 Draft did indeed have a dominant big man. He just happened to shoot threes and dribble around the perimeter.
Abrams pens another excellent profile, this time on the Spurs' Stephen Jackson. "Captain Jack" has been one of the few Spurs supporting players who has stepped up as their team has stepped down.
How much "older" are the Spurs anyway, and does it really matter?
The Grantland staff banters about Game 5, and what to expect for Game 6 tonight.
Once again, a writer concludes that the secret to the Thunder model is to draft Kevin Durant.
I hope you're paying attention to the Eastern Conference, because Boston is on the verge of doing the exact same thing that the Thunder are - win a series against a superior opponent after losing the first 2 games.