Apr 29, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts to a call in action against the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2014: Can the Oklahoma City Thunder Avoid an Upset?

Apr 24, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and guard Russell Westbrook (0) talk during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies beat Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime 98 – 95. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not all that surprising that the Thunder are one game from elimination. Yes, they are the number two seed and, folks had this team labeled as a contender (not me; but other folks).

In any event, the Memphis Grizzlies have shown once again that they can contend with the Thunder.

Every team, even the elite ones, have that one opponent that they simply can’t shake or have the most problems with. Sometimes, it’s other elite teams. Other times, it’s teams that are not even heading for the playoffs.

The West is very competitive. Seeding is not as drastic over here. That’s why it’s not a complete shock that the Mavericks are taking on the top seed Spurs. Wouldn’t that be funny? The Mavericks were the top seed thrown down by the 8th seed. But, like I said, even the best teams have that one team they have problems with.

So, let’s take a look at the season series between the Thunder and Grizzlies. The Thunder won 3-1 during the four season matchups. So…huh…what’s the problem then?

To me, I think Kevin Durant needs help. I think, the Thunder offense is too predictable and Tony Allen is making his defensive mark yet again. And Durant admitted that he let Tony get in his head. I wonder if Joey Crawford was also in his head.

It has to be said that out of the five games that have been played in this series, the last four played were OT games. So, it’s not like the Grizzlies completely shut down the Thunder. One change in any of those games and the Thunder could be up 3-2 or win the series. We don’t know.

What we do know is that, for this game six, on the road, the Thunder are in a tight spot. What we also know is that, if they fail here, it’s a bust. Heads may roll. Will Scott Brooks be shown out? We’re talking about a team that was just at the 2012 NBA finals. And now, a quick elimination with just about the same core of guys? Eh, not good.

In these situations, the coach is the first to go most of the time.

Yeah, this team has their stars. But, maybe a better cast is needed too. The rest of the team hasn’t shot well either. The whole team just can’t shoot, at least efficiently.

When you consider that, although the Thunder lost by one in OT in game 5, they were also down by 20. At home. Loud City was loud with their boos. Durant looked bad. At the end of the game, I guess Brooks felt the same way. Durant disappeared and it seemed planned.

At the end of the day, the Thunder’s high hopes, even with Westbrook getting himself back from his injury he has in the playoffs last year, are falling fast. Somebody better do something, or this is all over.

And even if the Thunder come back and win the series, do they have a chance against the Clippers or Warriors?

One game at a time. That’s what the Thunder will probably say. And that’s what they have to do. If not, this loud city and this loud offensive duo of Westbrook and Durant will be stifled by Memphis’ tough defense.

Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs Memphis Grizzlies Oklahoma City Thunder

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