The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

May 5, 2013

Grizzly matchup awaits Thunder second round



Oklahoma City is still trying to figure out what type of team it is without the services of Russell Westbrook, who suffered a season ending injury in Game 2 against Houston.

While Memphis has had much of the season to get used to life without Gay, playing without Westbrook is still a puzzle. At times it looked like a comedy of errors, but in Game 6 Friday, it seemed to all click for Oklahoma City. Kevin Martin found his shooting touch, Reggie Jackson showed he can control the tempo and Nick Collison provided the inside scoring the team has always needed.

“I think we needed that Game 5 to be honest,” Durant said. “As much as it hurt to lose on our home floor in a close out game, we just needed to relax and get back to the basics. Which is having fun, doing what we do as an organization: just going out there and playing for the love of the game.”

Collison will be needed even more against the Grizzlies, who feature Randolph and Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol in the middle. The duo bullied the Clippers in the opening round.

This is nothing new to Collison and Perkins. Both seem suited for the grindhouse game Memphis employs. Throw in Serge Ibaka and former Memphis No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet and Oklahoma City has the size to contend.

“We’ve had a lot of difficult games with them,” Collison said. “They’ve beaten us their fair share of times too. When we play them, it’s a physical game. Both teams compete. There are not a lot of tricks. It’s both teams competing and fighting to get a win.”

This is the second time in three years that Oklahoma City has gone nose-to-nose with Memphis in the playoffs. The Thunder won an epic seven game series in 2011, but it was clear to see at the time that the two teams would stand in each others’ way for the next few years. For now, both teams are just worried about the next two weeks.

“Against the Clippers, they hit first,” Durant said. “We have to be the team that hits first in this series. It’s going to be a tough and fun series.”

Michael Kinney

Follow me @eyeamtruth


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHS at Midwest City 6 Point guard taking on a new role in Tigers’ summer basketball league

    It’s a summer of change for Norman High basketball....

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU dominates in preseason, receiving 47 of 56 first-place votes in early poll

    Oklahoma will start the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thunder V Denver Thunder add guard Morrow in deliberate, selective free agency

    Oklahoma City hasn’t been the busiest place during the NBA free agency period. However, it may have been among the pickiest. The Thunder officially signed free agent guard Anthony Morrow to a contract Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound ...

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OGA at Trails 8 No rest for Reid during another championship

    James Reid says he plays better when he’s played a lot of golf in a short time. After a four-day trip to Ireland last week in which he played eight rounds of golf, he arrived back in Oklahoma City at midnight on Sunday. Nine hours later, ...

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo