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.”