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  1. As we all expected, Thunder needed Nick Collison to win

    May 15, 2011, 8:02 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four

    Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Nick Collison…. Like the old Sesame Street game and song, “One of these things is not like the others.” Collison may look out of place among those elite scorers, he averaged 21 minutes a game off the bench for the Thunder this past season. The classic veteran role players.…

  2. NBA Playoffs: Determined Grizzlies won’t go quietly

    May 14, 2011, 12:54 AM EDT

    O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol celebrate after the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma Thunder in Memphis

    From Games 2 through 5, Oklahoma City had kept the force of nature that can be Zach Randolph in check. They had packed the lane, threw multiple long defenders at him and never let him get comfortable. He shot just 32 percent in those four games. But it all changed Friday night, starting with Grizzlies coach Lionel…

  3. NBA Playoffs: Thunder try to avoid another breakdown

    May 9, 2011, 5:12 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three

    Oklahoma City was in control. They had Game 3. Russell Westbrook was dishing (he had 12 assists) and the Thunder were rolling. They were controlling the Grizzlies in the paint enough to get the win. But when Westbrook starts to do his Derrick Rose impression, the Thunder’s offensive balance falls apart. Memphis upped its defensive…

  4. Kendrick Perkins gets some team meeting Karma in Game 2

    May 4, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

    Thunder's Durant gets a pat on the head from teammate Perkins after their Western Conference NBA basketball playoffs against the Nuggets in Oklahoma City

    We only hear about the players-only meetings that work. They happen plenty around the NBA — the Cavaliers had them during their record losing streak — and they don’t usually work. But when they do, those meetings get a disproportional amount of credit. That brings us to the tale of Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant,…

  5. NBA Playoffs: The Thunder bounce back

    May 4, 2011, 3:59 AM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two

    The Thunder needed a win on Tuesday night, and they got one, 111-102 over the Grizzlies. The Thunder got out to an early lead against the Grizzlies and never looked back, and were able to prevent themselves from having to go into Memphis facing an 0-2 deficit. The key to the game was the Thunder’s…

  6. NBA Playoffs: Russell Westbrook must find his groove. Fast.

    May 3, 2011, 6:35 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    Memphis has become something of a mythological team. Beating them suddenly sounds like a task of Herculean proportions, where one must battle a seven-headed hydra and Zach Randolph. Nobody — not even the legendary Tim Duncan — could slay the beast. But the Oklahoma City Thunder are supposed to have the tools. They are supposed…

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