Feb 28, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) attempts a shot against Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) while NBA official Pat Fraher looks on during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2014: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies series preview


 

For the second consecutive season, the Memphis Grizzlies (50-32) and Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23) will meet in the postseason. Last year, the Grizzlies eliminated the Russell Westbrook-less Thunder in five games to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Series Schedule:

Game 1 in Oklahoma City: Saturday, April 19, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 2 in Oklahoma City: Monday, April 21, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3 in Memphis: Thursday, April 24, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 4 in Memphis: Saturday, April 26, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Game 5 in Oklahoma City (if necessary): Tuesday, April 29
Game 6 in Memphis (if necessary): Thursday, May 1
Game 7 in Oklahoma City (if necessary): Saturday, May 3

Season Series: Thunder won 3-1

Memphis Grizzlies  Oklahoma City Thunder
Marc Gasol Kendrick Perkins
Zach Randolph Serge Ibaka
Tayshaun Prince Kevin Durant
Courtney Lee Thabo Sefolosha
Mike Conley Russell Westbrook

 

Memphis Grizzlies  Oklahoma City Thunder
 Pace 92.25 97.91
 Offensive Rating 103.3 108.1
 Defensive Rating 102.1 101.0

 

The Grizzlies are in the rare position of being a 50-win team but are just the seventh seed (there are only two 50+ win teams in the Eastern Conference). Of course, had the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year not missed 23 games earlier in the season, they probably wouldn’t be in this position.  With Gasol and Zach Randolph healthy, their size is obviously going to present some problems for the Thunder. However, with Kevin Durant playing at the highest level of his career and Russell Westbrook back healthy, the Thunder have the league’s best scoring duo. Plus, the emergence of Reggie Jackson and the acquisition of Caron Butler have given them an added dimension. The Thunder are and should be considered the favorite in this series.

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Tags: Kevin Durant Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook Serge Ibaka Zach Randolph