The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

May 1, 2014

Thunder, Durant need sense of urgency to bring series back to OKC

MEMPHIS — Derek Fisher has been here before. The 5-time world champion has faced every possible situation imaginable in the postseason at one time or another.

So, it should not have been a surprise that it was Fisher who Oklahoma City chose to speak to the media the day before the team’s biggest game of the season.

Trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, the Thunder are on the verge of seeing their season come to a quick and decisive end if they are unable to pull out a Game 6 victory against Memphis tonight at the Fed Ex Forum.

In 2002, Fisher was part of a Lakers squad that fell behind 3-2 and came back to beat the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Finals. He is living proof it can be done.

But instead of panicking and trying to invent some new gimmicks to get past a battle-tested Grizzlies squad, Fisher says the team needs to just believe in what has gotten them to this point.

“It’s us not doing what we’ve talked about doing since I’ve been here,” Fisher said. “Our coaching staff has continued to reinforce the same messages, we work on and drill the same things in practice. We work on tons of drills where if there’s two people on the ball you move it to the next guy, but it’s just part of the breakthrough of a team.”

It seems impossible to believe that a squad that is two years removed from playing in the NBA finals is still seeking a breakthrough moment. But that is where the Thunder find themselves.

“It is very hard in the most pressure packed and most emotional times to actually go out there and do that and that’s the challenge for us,” Fisher said. “Our organization is built around unselfish guys, our players are like that and our coaches are like that.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock How Paris got her groove back

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • 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