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Are Kevin Durant & The Thunder Really Going To Get Knocked Out Of The 2014 NBA Playoffs In The First Round?

Submitted by on April 30, 2014 – 11:42 amNo Comment

This year, I was really looking forward to watching the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat play in the 2014 NBA Finals. After seeing them go at it two years ago, I was looking forward to seeing Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, & Co. get revenge on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and the rest of the Heat. And it looked like they were both destined to make it to the Finals, too. Sure, there were a handful of other teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, and Indiana Pacers standing in their way. But the Thunder and the Heat appeared to be the two best teams in the entire league. And a Finals matchup seemed like the perfect place for them to battle it out and determine who the best team in the league is.

Only one problem: At this moment, it doesn’t look like the Thunder are going to go to the NBA Finals. Because at this moment, the Thunder are in danger of getting eliminated by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. They lost to the Grizzlies in overtime last night by a final score of 100-99 and now trail Memphis 3-2 in their best-of-7 series. And with the series set to head back to the Grizzlies’ FedEx Forum now, Oklahoma City might not get the chance to play the Heat in June.

How have the Thunder put themselves into such a terrible situation? Well, for starters, their two leading scorers Durant and Westbrook have struggled shooting the ball for much of the series. Further, Westbrook is taking way too many shots right now (he took more than 30 in last night’s loss) and Durant is being too passive on the offensive side of the ball. And on defense, the Thunder have had no answer for Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph down low. Those two guys have controlled the paint for the Grizzlies and helped Memphis build big leads in almost every game in the series.

If the Thunder want to have any chance of sending this series to a Game 7 and advancing in the playoffs, they need to correct all of the issues above—and they need to do it quickly. They also need to start playing a little looser and getting more creative on offense. Otherwise, they’re going to be going home before the second round. And we’re all going to be deprived of seeing the Thunder/Heat matchup that we so desperately want to see in the Finals. So let’s hope the Thunder find a way to get things together in Game 6.

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