Last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies playoff series ended with Memphis winning in five games. Part of the reason for that was because Russell Westbrook’s season ended in the previous series. This year, Westbrook is healthy again, but Thunder beat reporter Berry Tramel reported on Friday that the Oklahoma City Thunder averages almost two fewer points in margin of victory than last season. Here is how fans can follow the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies live stream for the first game of the NBA playoff series.
What they number means is that, over the full season, Oklahoma City only beat teams by an average of 6.41 points per game, while last season they won by an average of 9.3. What should be taken into account is that the 9.3 mark was one of the best in NBA history. This season, the Thunder only played with their starting five in 30 games. If the Thunder remains healthy through the playoffs this season, they should immediately be a better team.
The first thing that matters is that Russell Westbrook has played sporadically throughout the season, so when the playoffs arrived he was healthy. Thunder head coach Scott Brooks calls Westbrook one of the best players in the NBA, and Westbrook has done little to prove his coach wrong. Since Feb. 20, Westbrook has averaged 22.3 points, 6.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds a game. He also shot 46 percent from the field, and those numbers were just for an average of 28 minutes a game.
While the Thunder are not winning by as wide of a margin as they were last season, Westbrook only playing 28 minutes a game might explain that. The Thunder still has the NBA’s leading scorer Kevin Durant tearing it up this season. Durant won his fourth scoring title this year, and it was his highest total of his career, averaging 32 points per game. Serge Ibaka is also having a fantastic season, with a career high 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.
Oklahoma City welcomes Memphis to their home turf tonight, and the Grizzlies come in on a five-game winning streak. However, this is not the same Thunder team that lost to Memphis last season. The Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies live stream for game one can be found at WatchESPN. Tipoff is set for 9:30 p.m. EST.