Oklahoma City Thunder Playoffs Schedule: Teams That Would Bother West's Top Seed

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IApril 17, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 20:  Kevin Durant #35 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder get ready for the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on February 20, 2013 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder may be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but they'll have plenty of competition in the playoffs, particularly if they receive a draw that is unfavorable.

There are three teams in particular the Thunder would rather avoid in their quest for the NBA title. Here they are, complete with the playoff schedule.


Key Dates

Playoffs Start: April 20

Conference Semifinals: May 7

Conference Finals: May 22

NBA Finals: June 6


Memphis Grizzlies 

The Thunder are 1-2 against the Grizzlies this season. That includes a 90-89 overtime loss on March 20 in Memphis and a 107-97 loss at home on Nov. 14.

In Oklahoma City's loss in March (when Memphis didn't have Rudy Gay), Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combined for 33 rebounds, leading to a 54-46 advantage on the glass for the Grizzlies. It helped Memphis overcome a night in which it shot 36 percent from the floor.

The Grizzlies also held Oklahoma City to 36 percent shooting.

The Grizzlies defense (ranked third in the NBA in opponents' field-goal percentage, via TeamRankings.com), combined with their advantage on the glass (ranked fourth in rebounding rate), makes them a tough out for the Thunder.


San Antonio Spurs

The Thunder are 2-2 against the Spurs this season. In their two losses, they shot worse and committed more turnovers than the Spurs.

San Antonio ranks second in field-goal percentage, eighth in opponents' field-goal percentage and ninth in turnover rate this season, via TeamRankings.com. Gregg Popovich's squad consistently plays fundamental defense while being efficient on offense.

It's one of the reasons why some have the Spurs going to the NBA Finals this season.


Miami Heat

The Thunder have dropped both of their games against the Heat this season.

In both losses, Oklahoma City shot worse than Miami, while committing more turnovers. The Heat also out-rebounded the Thunder in their February encounter, 46-35, with LeBron James and Chris Bosh combining for 24 boards.

Miami ranks fifth in opponents' field-goal percentage and eighth in turnover rate this season, per TeamRankings.com.

FYI: Oklahoma City ranks 24th in turnover rate this season. The Thunder have to take better care of the ball against each of these three teams.


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