Question of the Day: Who will win the NBA playoff series between Oklahoma City and Memphis? [Poll]
Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss the NBA Western Conference semifinal series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies, now tied at 2-2. Check back throughout the day for more responses, vote in the poll and weigh in with a comment of your own.
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
It took deep into Monday night (or was that Tuesday morning?), but the Thunder finally regained home-court advantage against the Grizzlies.
Figure on them seizing upon it.
Monday took a ton out of both teams, but the pain tends to linger far longer for the losing team.
While the series has been as wildly erratic as Russell Westbrook's play, the Thunder is playing for a legitimate shot at the NBA Finals. The Grizzlies remain in glad-to-be-here mode, persevering in the injury absence of Rudy Gay.
Eventually the clock will strike midnight for the Grizzlies (although when it did Monday they just kept on playing), and reality will hit home.
The Grizzlies already are the feel-good story of these playoffs, and couldn't have arrived at a better time for flood-ravaged Memphis.
But the Thunder's depth of talent figures to prevail in what now is a best-of-three series.
Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times
Young NBA teams are like toddlers; they fall, get up, and walk farther the next time.
Last year, the Thunder pushed the Lakers to six games in the first round, exiting with a one-point loss in Oklahoma City.
This spring, the Oklahoma City has already won six games in the postseason, and with the home court advantage over Memphis, the Thunder should squeeze past the Grizzlies -- another young team learning to walk -- and get to the Western Conference finals.
There, the Thunder will meet a veteran Dallas team, though both the Mavericks and Thunder are still trying to learn how to win a championship. That's the next step in the journey.
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
It may be simplistic to say the team that survived the Game 4 triple-overtime thriller will win the series, but it sure seems like a turning point for the Thunder. Not only did Oklahoma City regain home-court advantage, the outcome of the epic game has to be demoralizing for the Grizzlies.
Not that this has been a predictable series. Memphis should be over-matched, but the Grizzlies have taken advantage of inconsistent play by Oklahoma City and were seemingly poised for an upset.
Can the Grizzlies bounce back in Game 5? Maybe, but it's hard to imagine Memphis overcoming such a crushing loss and winning on the road.
Plus, Oklahoma City has the best player in the series -- Kevin Durant. Talent ultimately wins, even if it takes three overtimes or seven games. That's why Oklahoma City will move on.]
Photo: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of the second round of the 2011 NBA playoffs at FedEx Forum on Monday night. The Thunder beat the Grizzlies 133-123 in triple overtime. Credit: Don McPeak / US Presswire