Ok, ok, ok, I know--injuries, blah, blah, blah...but I can't help seeing this:
Watching that Memphis-OKC triple-overtime thriller last night, it was amazing to see the contrast between how that team plays and how Portland played in the Dallas series. OKC showed poise, intensity, and raw desire. When the going got tough, i.e., when they were down by 17 points in the first half, they roared back. They hit big shots. There was none of the timidity, confusion, and lack of confidence the Blazers have shown so often in the crunch the last couple years. Even though their roster, save Durant and Westbrook, is arguably nowhere near as talented as ours on paper, guys like James Harden, Nick Collison, and Serge Ibaka played their hearts out and made key plays for their team. Nate MacMillan is a good coach, but seeing what Scott Brooks gets out of him team makes me feel like he deserved the COTY award, and Nate needs to inspire this same level of poise and intensity from his guys before this team is going anywhere.
Granted, with a healthy Roy and Oden, maybe our story would be different, but this team seems to have a lot of the intangibles we are missing in Portland.