Thunder reserve point guard Derek Fisher has won five NBA championships rings and noted none is inscribed with which team led what series and by how much.
Translation: Being up 2-0 in a best-of-seven playoff series obviously is preferred, but it doesn't get you a ring.
“Until you figure out a way to win four games in a series, nobody cares whether you're up 2-0, you're down 0-2 … None of my rings say on the side how the series happened,” Fisher explained from his locker room stall around 12:50 a.m. Tuesday following the Thunder's 102-99 victory in Game 2 at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday night.
“If you advance, that's the goal, you know. We haven't advanced by winning two games. We've just protected our home court. We're not going to get excited about this. We're not going to start thinking about how good we are and thinking ahead. We're going to respect our opponent and be ready to go Thursday night.”
OKC leads its series 2-0 against the defending world champion Dallas Mavericks, with Game 3 at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Game 4 is Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at AAC.
The 37-year-old Fisher provided an integral spark in Game 2, scoring 11 points in 24½ minutes on 5-for-6 shooting from the field. He also applied the clamps defensively at the point, fighting through the top of pick-and-roll screens.
Fisher had struggled since being acquired by the Thunder on March 21, shooting 34.3 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from 3-point range.
“Each game is different and each night is different, particularly in the playoffs,” explained Fisher, who won all his world titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. “Every night there's going to be a different way to take advantage of opportunities to try and make contributions that will help the team. I tried to make plays where I saw fit. I got some shots to go down, but most importantly just trying to play hard and help my team.”
A veteran of 211 career playoff games, Fisher is well-acquainted with the mental nuances of the postseason and what it takes to survive and advance.