Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies forced a Game 7 Friday night, in their Eastern Conference Semi-Finals matchup with the OKC Thunder. This has been an extremely entertaining playoff series, chippy at times, and the big fella’s for both team’s have been kicking each other’s ass in all six games. The stage is set for an epic Game 7. (I just hope Kendrick Perkins loses his shit in the final game of this series – anything more would be a welcome bonus.)
The story of this game was the phenomenal play of Z-Bo; he finished with 30 points, 13 z-bounds and despite his inability to jump over a piece of dental floss, two blocks. The most surprising aspect of these Playoffs is not the Grizzlies defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, or even that they are now only one win away from making the Western Conference Finals. The most shocking element of the 2011 Playoffs has been the spectacular play of Z-Bo. He has been hands down the best power forward throughout the postseason (Dirk is not a power forward, he is a D-Bag). I don’t know anyone who would have predicted, before the Playoffs began, Z-Bo would outshine Timmy; Pau-Pau; The Praying Mantis (Chris Bosh); The Praying Mantis Light (Carlos Boozer); The German Fairy (a very debatable argument, but I don’t give a shit; this is my article, and yes, my hatred for Dirk Diggler runs deeper than Pau Gasol’s vagina); Brandon Roy’s kid brother, LA; or The Nut Job (KG). The point is, Z-Bo and his roly-poly game is the coolest thing on the planet at the moment. Deal with it, Lebron. It’s not all about you.
If you are a Thunder fan, you have to be quietly confident going into Game 7 on your home-court. There is no way we are going to see Kevin Durant repeat an 11 point, 3-of-14 performance. I expect the Durantula to be looking to take the ball to the hole a lot more on Sunday (nine of his 14 shots were 3′s, Friday night). My only concern for the Thunder, is whether Russell Westbrook will give the ball to Durant if the game goes down to the wire. As good as Westbrook is, there should be no question about who should have the ball in their hands down the stretch for the Thunder.
This series is going to come down to who plays better in Game 7: Durant or Z-Bo? If the answer is Z-Bo, I expect Kendrick Perkins to give us his best Nicolas Cage impersonation. It will be a win for everyone involved.