Yes, this has been a great series. And yes, this is the first Game 7 of what has been an outstanding playoffs. But let’s not get carried away. To be clear, this game is about one thing and one thing only: who wins the right to take on Dallas?
5 Key Pregame Storylines:
- How will Durant bounce back from one of his worst games of the year? I’ll say “strong, to quite strong.”
- How will the Memphis bigs respond to the short turnaround between Games 6 and 7? The last time they had this little time to rest, they put up an absolute stink bomb in Game 5 and lost by 27 points.
- Which team will respond better to the pressure of a Game 7? Neither team has much playoff experience at all. All the pressure is on OKC even though they are at home. Memphis was the #8 seed, was down 3-2, and should feel like they are playing with house money.
- How big will Z-Bo be? In the three wins in this series, Z-Bo has averaged 28 points and 15 boards. In the Game 2 loss, Z-Bo went a Gasol-like 2/13 from the field, and only gobbled up (pun intended) 9 boards. In the Game 5 loss, Z-Bo scored only 9 points and collected only 7 boards. He shot under 25% from the floor in the two losses. Z-Bo has been the second best player in the playoffs so far (Hi, Dirk), and he will need to be the best player on the floor today for Memphis to pull out the upset.
- Will Jessica Biel call me during the game and ask me to come over? We had fun last night, so who knows.
6 “Did you knows”:
- There is a Tony Allen cardboard cutout that greets passengers when they step off the plane at Memphis’ airport. Really? They couldn’t think of anyone else?
- Shannon Brown’s twitter last night: “Ok let me put a end to this right now before it goes any further. I DID NOT SLEEP WITH @paugasol woman!!! First and last time addressing it!” If only President Clinton could have used twitter.
- Z-Bo is one of the biggest pranksters in the NBA. His favorite one is to slap the person closest to him in the face as hard as he can. Effective!
- I checked around to see which team the experts were picking to win today. 376,809 experts picked OKC and 0 picked Memphis. Of course, all of them will claim “not to be surprised at all” if Memphis wins. The betting line is OKC by 6.5. I actually think that is a pretty good line, but I lean towards Memphis. I think they can control the paint and at least keep the game close.
- Tony Allen took a nap yesterday at 8 pm, according to his twitter account. At the same time, Dirk was in the gym shooting the lights out. Greatness.
- Shane Battier got trapped in an elevator yesterday for 25 minutes.