2013 NBA Playoffs: Thunder vs Grizzlies, OKC player grades for game 5

The Thunder fall to the Grizzlies in 5 games, and game 5 was the most painful one of all. Here is how each player performed.

The Thunder's season is has now completed on a wholly unsatisfactory note. The Thunder dropped game 5 to the Grizzlies 88-84, and the series, 4 games to 1. Here is how each OKC player did in the deciding game.

***

KEVIN DURANT

21 points on 5-21 shooting, 0-4 from 3-point range, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 7 turnovers


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_b_medium
I give Kevin Durant a 'B' but I feel that no grade is really fair and can encapsulate Durant's performance in Game 5. If we look at things in a vacuum, his woeful shooting and high turnovers would seem to warrant a 'D.' However, we cannot fairly consider his play without context, and the context was this - the Grizzlies defense, from man 1 through 5, was dedicated to creating what we saw from Durant last night, and they were dedicated to it for all 5 games. The byproduct is that Durant could barely lift himself in the air for his jump shots, and a game-saving elbow jumper that Durant can make with his eyes closed never had a shot at going in. That isn't failure by Durant, but success by arguably the best defense in the NBA. In that sense, a 'B' is both too high and too low, but it is something of which to not be ashamed.

REGGIE JACKSON

16 points on 7-15 shooting, 1-5 from 3-point range, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_aminus_medium
Reggie Jackson is the best thing to come out of these disappointing playoffs for the Thunder. His 3-point shot is still poor, but it was Jackson who hit the deep three with 11 seconds remaining that gave the Thunder a shot at a tie. He went from being a guy whom Brooks barely trusted earlier in the season to a playoff-tested 40 minute a game contributor who stood in the face of Memphis' defensive pressure and did not blink. His future is bright.

SERGE IBAKA

17 points on 8-17 shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 turnover, fouled out


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_b_medium
Serge Ibaka was a no-show for the first 3 games, but acquitted himself in the end. He never truly regained the shooting touch or offensive aggression that we know he has, but he never stopped battling Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. He did a superb job helping guard Gasol, as the Grizzlies big man was held to 10 points on 5-13 shooting. He still has room to grow, but in this game, Ibaka played hard and did not disappear.

THABO SEFOLOSHA

5 points on 2-5 shooting, 1-2 from 3-point range, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_c_medium
Thabo Sefolosha's expanding offensive game all but disappeared as this series went on, an element which OKC could have really used. His defense was still strong, as he once again played a critical role in helping to limit the Grizzlies guards to only a collective 36 points on 11-34 shooting. He wore a bandage on his non-shooting hand on the night and it's possible that this had an effect on Thabo's shooting, but more than that he, like his teammates, just didn't know how to find spaces to score without Russell Westbrook on the court.

KENDRICK PERKINS

2 points on 1-4 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 turnovers


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_cminus_medium
Kendrick Perkins closed out his 2013 playoffs with more questions than answers. He was supposed to be an equalizer against the Grizzlies' front line, but more and more he found himself losing his cool and sitting on the bench while Ibaka and Collison waged war down low. He wasn't awful in Game 5, but his offensive court awareness seemed to decline. His botched 'fast-break' play at the end of the 2nd quarter which led not only to a lost scoring opportunity to bring OKC under a 10 point deficit but was coupled with Ibaka fouling Mike Conley going the other way put a decisively disgusting end to a 2nd quarter that mortally wounded the Thunder's chances.

DEREK FISHER

9 points on 3-11 shooting, 3-11 from 3-point range (including one t-shirt assisted goal), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_dplus_medium
Eventually, the frog recognizes the scorpion for what it is. Fisher played hard, no doubt, but with his shooting regressing to the mean in Games 4 and 5, he began to enter John Starks territory. He shot 3-11 from 3-point range, but even that was benefited by virtue of one of the strangest plays you'll ever see. In the end, Fisher was taking too many shots while still remaining at his expected percentage. On the other hand, if not Fisher, then who?

NICK COLLISON

4 points on 2-5 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_bminus_medium
Nick Collison is going to want to forget this series. Game 5 played out like all the rest, where one of the legit Z-Bo defenders in the league was never really given a chance to play strong. After picking up his first 3 fouls in under 3 minutes of play, Collison was as frustrated as we've ever seen him because he was not allowed to go strong on one end but was never given the same benefit on the other. He soldered on however and stayed on the court in the end, helping to curb Randolph's production. He does lose a mark however for his attempt at a Eurostep.

KEVIN MARTIN

10 points on 3-6 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_cplus_medium
Kevin Martin finished his up-and-down series with a puzzling 6 shot attempts on the night. I'd like to think that on a given night when a team's shooters are struggling, it might be good to look to that team's designated shooter and double-digit scorer. However, for every attempt that Fisher shot, Martin didn't shoot. By the end, Martin could only play the bystander as the Thunder fell apart.

SCOTT BROOKS


Grade Comments


Sherman Grade_bminus_medium I was not disappointed in how Scott Brooks coached this game. His vanilla timeout speeches aside, he did about all that he could with what he was working with. His best player and team leader couldn't make shots. His best post defender couldn't avoid picking up fouls. He didn't overplay Perkins, stayed with a lineup at the end that gave his team a chance to win, and most importantly he kept OKC in the game after terrible stretches in the 2nd and 4th quarters.
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