2013 NBA Playoffs: Thunder vs Grizzlies, OKC player grades for game 4

The Thunder started out strong in Game 4, but in the end fatigue, mistakes, and missed shots did them in once again, as they fell in OT to the Grizzlies.

The Thunder are now on the brink of falling in the 2nd round a year after making a Finals appearance. Despite playing their best offensive 1st half of the series, once again the 3rd quarter did the Thunder in as their offense fell apart. By the time the game ground to a close, nobody could make a shot, and OKC fell to the Grizzlies, 103-97 and slipped into a deep 3-1 series hole.

Here is how each individual player performed. Our game 4 graders are Craig and Ramona.

KEVIN DURANT

27 points on 10-27 shooting, 5-7 from 3-point range, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_bplus_medium
For the first time in my grades Kevin Durant does not earn an A. The main reason being fatigue and that leading to missed shots in the 4th quarter and overtime. It really isn’t his fault. He has averaged somewhere around 67.3 minutes per game this series. You may want to double-check that number but I am pretty sure it is accurate. He played marvelous in the first half and had a super sweet finger roll to send the game to over time.
Ramona Grade_a_medium
Kevin Durant continues to play through adversity. A triangle of Memphis defenders collapsed around him the first time he touched the ball, and it never got any easier for him. He’s a superstar in this league and plays like it.

REGGIE JACKSON

15 points on 6-8 shooting, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block, 4 turnovers


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_bminus_medium
I feel wrong giving anyone not named Durant anything above a C in a loss but I was really impressed with Jackson’s play in this game. It was his most complete game of the series so far. He used his athleticism to drive and finish at the rim while also crashing the boards. He did make the really dumb play late in OT when he went to save the ball when it was off of Memphis. But that was not anywhere near the worst mental blunder of the evening by OKC.
Ramona Grade_bplus_medium
A good performance by Reggie. It would have been a great performance by a back-up PG, but he is now in the starting role and that position requires more in the playoffs.

SERGE IBAKA

17 points on 6-13 shooting, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_cminus_medium
Based on his first half performance Ibaka looked like he was breaking out of his offensive slump and on his way to earning a B in the grades. Then they played the second half. He impact on the offensive end went back in its shell and the Thunder suffered because of it.
Ramona Grade_a_medium Serge Ibaka stepped up his game. He played a complete game, consistently knocking down shots, and coming up big on the defensive end. Welcome back, Serge.

THABO SEFOLOSHA

5 points on 1-4 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_c_medium
He really had no impact on the offensive side of the game other than making three free throws. For the Thunder to win in a Post-Westbrook world they need Thabo to attempt more than four field goals and make more than one said field goal.
Ramona Grade_d_medium
Thabo had good defensive presence in the first half, but wasn’t able to contribute much in the second half. He took only four shots and continues to pass up short-distance shots (with the play clock ticking down), which creates desperation shots for teammates.

KENDRICK PERKINS

2 points on 1-5 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_cminus_medium I mean he made a basket and played some really good defense on Zach Randolph at the end of regular so that is a plus. The defensive he played at the end of regulation was his biggest contribution to the series. That is pretty sad but totally true.
Ramona Grade_d_medium
Perkins started the game the only way he knows how- he was whistled for a moving screen. He then capped off regulation with a huge block on Randolph’s shot attempt at the buzzer. What happened between those two plays was forgettable

KEVIN MARTIN

18 points on 6-12 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_cminus_medium The good K-Mart graced us with his presence for game 4. In the first half K-Mart was tearing up the Grizzlies on the base line and giving their defense all kinds of fits. He hit the shots we have grown accustomed to seeing him make. I worry that his effort in this game was too little too late.
Ramona Grade_a_medium Kevin M had a nice game. He provided KD with some help. He played less time than Fisher and Sefolosha, and that could have been his biggest problem all night.

DEREK FISHER

3 points on 1-5 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_f_medium
Oh…Derek Fisher. The man who never met a shot he didn’t like and wouldn’t take no matter how off he has been all night. Fisher’s lone make was a pretty big three to cut the lead to one. But he wiped out any goodwill he had from that with a completely horrendous inbound bounce pass directly into the arms of Tony Allen. I guess this game is an example of all those intangibles that Fisher brings to the team. God I miss Russell Westbrook.
Ramona Grade_cminus_medium
You can’t hit them all. Fish dropped a big one in late in the game to bring the Thunder close. Unfortunately, that was it. Twenty-six minutes is a lot for three points.

NICK COLLISON

10 points on 3-5 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_c_medium This is the kind of game I expect to see from him on a nightly basis. Hustle plays, tipped in rebounds, getting abused in the post and doing his best to hold his ground. Once again he found a spot on the bench after fouling out in the forth quarter.
Ramona Grade_bplus_medium
Nick puts in work. He has huge defensive presence while on the floor, but what I like about him- he creates some offensive presence in the paint. He somehow manages to score in our center position.

HASHEEM THABEET

0 points in 5 minutes, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_f_medium The box score says he played five minutes and had two rebounds. Someone might want to ask the official scorer if they might have made a mistake on crediting him with those two rebounds.
Ramona Grade_cplus_medium
Not a lot of time on the floor, but I see you Hasheem, with your block outs. The greatest thing about a player still learning the game, he relies on fundamentals. Say what you will about Thabeet, but he normally has his man blocked out on rebounds.

SCOTT BROOKS


Grade Comments
Craig Grade_dplus_medium
A loss always brings the grade down and Brooks is no exception. The play he called to get the game tying basket was really nice but the fatigue of Durant falls on Brooks. He was able to get rest for Durant but not much late. He needs to find a way to get him so rest during the forth quarter. Getting him rest by having him cover someone not named Gasol or Randolph is a great way to start.
Ramona Grade_bminus_medium
He came to the game with a good plan, and it looked like things were going as planned. Second half when the score got tight, it seemed as if he banked on the wrong combination of players. Seems too late in the post season to still fumble on players rotation.
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