Oklahoma City Thunder Playoffs Schedule: Teams That Would Bother West's Top Seed
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.
Playoffs Start: April 20
Conference Semifinals: May 7
Conference Finals: May 22
NBA Finals: June 6
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.
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.
Who should the Thunder be most afraid of?
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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