Heading into game 6, I felt awkward. The entire day was weird. Here it is:
•I woke up to read about Kevin Durant being labeled “Mr Unreliable.”
•I got a call to be interviewed for a Fox 13 story about Grizzlies fans in Desoto County, #Grizzissippi
•I turned on the radio and they were talking about the Durant story & SEC football
•Looked on Ticketmaster and game 6 still wasn’t sold out, 3 hours before tipoff
•Checked Twitter & the Memphis media was more enthralled with the Royal family than a Grizzlies close out game at home
•Got to FedexForum and the crowd seemed a little dead for game 6, a close out game
•Looked at the starting lineups and Caron Butler replaced Thabo Sefolosha
•The late Mike Heisley popped up on the screen & sang the national anthem via video from opening night at the Pyramid.
So yea it was quite a weird start to the night. Eventually the game started and OKC showed up, while Memphis never did. After seeing the first 4 minutes of play, you could tell this one wasn’t going to end well for the Grizzlies.
Durant came out on fire. He hit 5 of his first 7, drove the lane, posted up, and was doing it all. Westbrook was giving it up too, even though the crowd dared him to shoot it. Eventually he did, and Memphis soon found itself down 11 in the first quarter. While they pulled it to within 5 at 42-37 with 3:17 to go in the first half, Scott Brooks channeled Gregg Popovich and called timeouts perfectly (after running out of them at the end of regulation in games 4/5), never allowing the Grizzlies fans nor the team to gain any foothold or momentum. From that moment, OKC would go on a 14-4 run and end the half up 15, 56-41. The Thunder toyed with the Grizzlies in the second half, and never allowed it to get closer than 14.
It wasn’t a fun night. The Grizzlies were embarrassed on their home court to a team that had its backs against the wall and looked hungry and desperate. Not necessarily a bad thing, except, the opportunity was missed yet again.
Now, the Grizzlies forced themselves into a corner and unless they get back to the play of games 2/3, we may have seen the Grizzlies play their last home game in the Grindhouse this season.
A few things the Grizzlies did well that should give you hope for game 7:
•PACE- 92.66 was on par with the Grizzlies place of play all season, the slowest in the league.
•83 FGA is 8 more attempts than OKC would put up
•19 assists on 31 made FGs is a 61% Ast ratio
•10 Grizzlies turnovers were 3 less than they forced on OKC
I’ll have a greater post on Friday morning and a look forward to game 7. For now, just get some rest. Saturday cometh.