Tuesday, May 10, 2011

40 Thunder Grizzlies Game Four Takeaways

Why 40? Because the game was just that epic; just the sixth triple-overtime war / opera / saga that might be the game of the century. And don't say I didn't warn you that you had to watch this series above all others...

40) This series has, for the most part, consisted of the teams taking turns in looking like they were world-beaters and terrible

39) There's something more than a little bit wrong about how much the Grizz are getting out of O.J. Mayo, considering that only avoided trading him by mistake

38) You'd think that by now, Russell Westbrook's teammates would know to just run to the backboard, since the ball is either going to be in the hoop or off the backboard, and you aren't going to get to touch it any other way

37) If the Grizzlies wind up winning the NBA Championship this year, I think you have to vote a share to the Mississippi River for flooding and inspiring everyone

36) Without Daequan Cook in the second quarter, this wasn't a game... and lo, was it ever a game

35) Westbrook goes on tilt more than any NBA player this side of JR Smith, but surprisingly, only on offense

34) Marc Gasol stares at open jump shots longer than anyone else in the Association

33) The Grizz blew an 18-point lead in this game, just as the Thunder blew a 16-point lead in Game 3, because both teams are too young to win

32) Dick Stockton felt compelled to tell an Elvis Presley joke that was only slightly more painful than, say, watching one of the King's movies

31) When you get the Grizzlies in foul trouble, with the exception of Zach Randolph, you are usually doing them a favor, since it helps them with their rotation

30) Shane Battier is doing everything imaginable to make people forgot that Kevin Durant is in this series

29) Kendrick Perkins "pulls the chair" better than any 26-year-old alive, mostly because in his soul, he's 37, going on 80

28) When Serge Ibaka is this invisible, the Thunder are just a lot less fun to watch, but beating the Grizz is nothing about fun

27) There were so many lead swings and big plays in this game, it honestly felt more like a heavyweight fight than a basketball game

26) Nazr Mohammed was surprisingly useful in this game, with a large part of the surprise being that he was still in the league

25) Anyone who thinks Tony Allen doesn't get enough minutes hasn't really watched enough of Tony Allen's career

24) With six minutes left and the Thunder on a run, James Harden used the incredible chi generated from his beard to force a defender to the ground, leading to an assist and dunk

23) The difference between Westbrook and Derrick Rose can, in the right game and moment, not seem so great... until you look at the closing minutes, or the stat sheet under "Assists"

22) Seeing how the nickname Grizzlies makes no sense in Memphis, let's just call them the Gritties

21) Despite the Thunder taking back home court tonight and playing their best game of the series, there's no way this series doesn't go seven

20) The Thunder seemed to think that when they were up ten with five minutes left, they were up eight with a minute left

19) If you had any idea which way this thing was going, you're lying

18) At some point, someone needs to tap Scott Brooks on the shoulder and replace him with a real coach

17) Perkins missed two critical free throws, then failed to foul the tying three-point shot before the shot, because Playoff Experience doesn't mean everything

16) Mike Conley took a terrible shot on a terrible final possession, and made the three pointer anyway to be the hero

15) Once the Grizz successfully defended the final shot in regulation, you thought the game was over, because the Thunder couldn't come back from back to back road choke jobs... except they had more chances to choke

14) Harden hit the stanchion at full force in overtime, then came back and made both free throws, because when you carry that beard, you are just that damned tough

13) Enberg and Mike Fratello decided to bring up Dead Chuck Daly in the middle of an incredibly exciting overtime with back and forth moments of massive shots, because Dead Chuck Daly would have wanted everyone distracted in the middle of a great game

12) Durant didn't touch the ball for nine minutes in crunch time, then nailed two huge shots, just to make Westbrook look even worse for not getting him the ball

11) After Conley made the insane three to force overtime, he was 0-for-4 in the overtime, and nearly shot his team out of it

10) I'd review what happened at the end of the first overtime, but you wouldn't believe me

9) Randolph baited Nick Collison into a technical after hitting him in the face in OT2, which was just all kinds of cagey

8) The game featured 13 lead changes, several miracles, multiple choke jobs, goats, heroes, over four hours, and more or less end-to-end insanity

7) While Durant is all that and a bag of chips, he's also way too turnover-prone to be a finished product just yet

6) The idea that Perkins could still be on the floor in the third overtime without fouling out was also, quite clearly, insane

5) Greivis Vasquez should never have to buy another drink in Memphis again

4) With ten seconds left in the second overtime of a tie game, six guys touched a loose ball before the Thunder got it

3) There were 256 points scored, and it was a great defensive game

2) The Thunder didn't so much win this game as survive it, and it only ended once Kevin Durant got the damn ball... though since they won by 10, I guess they covered the spread

1) Everyone who was at, watched, or was in this game will remember it for the rest of their lives

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