Round 2 is here! After an exciting opening round of the NBA playoffs, Round 2 kicks off today (likely before this post is published) as the Memphis Grizzlies travel to Oklahoma City to take on the defending Western Conference champion Thunder.
The Thunder welcome the Grizzlies after a tough opening round series win over Houston. OKC jumped to a 3-0 series lead, but needed a 6th game to send the Rockets home in a series highlight by a season-ending injury to Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.
Kevin Durant has been remarkable in the 2013 postseason, averaging 32.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. Durant will need to continue putting up big number against the league’s top defensive team.
Zach Randolph anchors a Memphis team that played well in games 2 through 6 of the Clippers series. Randolph led the Grizzlies in both points (20.8) and rebounds (8.0).
This series could go any of a number of ways depending on how well each team’s role players perform. If Durant has enough help from guys like Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, and veteran Derek Fisher, the Thunder should have no problem outscoring Grizzlies.
However, the Houston series may have shown just how much the Thunder team relies on Westbrook. And they will be facing a much tougher opponent in the 2nd round. If Randolph, Tony Allen, Mike Conley, and NBA Defensive POY Marc Gasol can all contribute, Memphis will make things very tough on OKC.
Game7Dads predicts: Memphis in 6.