Here comes Game Six and what we hope will be an official close-out, unlike Game Four in the last round. The Thunder have the momentum, they have the strategy, and they have the two best players on the court. Time would favor me to speed up a bit and get to tip-off.
Tramel writes about how Kendrick Perkins has made a huge impact in this playoff run. His statistics hardly do his presence justice, and he continues to work to keep the youthful Thunder on the straight and narrow.
the SB Nation's Grizzlies blog gives their account as to what happened on Wednesday, and sings a familiar refrain - Lionel Hollins left his starters in too long. I agree with this analysis, but therein lies the problem. When your entire team ethos is built on "grit-grind" and never giving up, you are all but resolved to commit to fight until the very end, consequences be damned.
I admire the moxy of Tony Allen to try and take out the Thunder's key player in this series. Despite whether Russell Westbrook has been good or bad, he always poses a nightmare match-up problem that has left the Grizzlies grasping for straws. If Memphis goes with this strategy again, I am eager to see how the Thunder try to exploit it.
Truehoop's Grizzly blog lines up the match-ups for tonight's game. Also, I don't know if it is tactical or not, but the writer here too is playing up the "OKC acted immaturely" mantra at the end of Game 5.
Congratulations are in order to the Grizzlies' Zach Randolph, who was named to the All-NBA 3rd Team. He is the first Grizzlies player to ever win such an honor, and as we've seen in these playoffs, it has been well-deserved.
This year, we will have a championship series that does not feature Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, or Shaquille O'Neal. The last time that happened? Air Jordan was still wearing red.
More links after the jump.
Just like OKC, Memphis is experiencing its first real taste of playoff success, and it is sweet and intoxicating. Tonight's game should be special, regardless of who wins.
One thing that has gotten lost amidst the overtimes and blowouts is the fact that, after Game One, OKC has been the superior team most of the way. The Thunder had a horrible lapse at the end of Game Three, but we can't forget that before those final six minutes, the Thunder were handling everything the Grizzlies gave them.
I have to say that I agree with everything written here. Andrew Bynum's forearm in players' rib cages while they are in a defenseless position is not an accident.
Helin weighs in on the final grade for the Celtics in regards to the Perkins-Green trade. I'll take the opposite position - yeah, I think the trade probably cost the Celtics the championship. You can X and O the game all you like, but at the end of the day, the Celtics' run was built on a concept of team we don't see very often, and the Celtics traded away a piece of their foundation.
This is a book excerpt from the pages of a new autobiography written by Chris Herren. It is a provocative read that will stir your emotions.
Now that LeBron James has shed at least one of his demons, a Cleveland fan wonders what to do as a Witness.
I love a draft board analysis that essentially says, "draft the best guy available."