Games between Thunder and Grizzlies never fall short of entertaining

It's always something when these two teams get together. After an entertaining 86-77 Oklahoma City win on Monday night, can we sign up now for another Thunder-Grizzlies playoff series?
by Jenni Carlson Published: February 3, 2014

Zach Randolph and Kendrick Perkins jawed at each other.

Marc Gasol hit tough shots. Kevin Durant hit more.

And all the while, The Peake shook.

Dave Joerger would probably say that was because of the volume of the music. The Memphis coach asked, then all but begged for the music to be turned down because, as he said, he couldn't hear squat.

His verbiage was a bit more colorful, by the way.

It's always something when these two teams get together, isn't it?

After an entertaining 86-77 Oklahoma City win on Monday night, can we sign up now for another Thunder-Grizzlies playoff series?

I mean, as long as you like your playoffs filled with intrigue, pressure, drama and the occasional overtime game.

These teams hooked it up two of the past three years in the postseason, and they have been nothing but interesting series'. The Grizzlies triumphed last season when the Thunder was playing without Russell Westbrook, and the Thunder won a rock-'em, sock-'em, seven-game series against the Grizzlies in 2011.

With the Thunder atop of the West Conference standings and the Grizzlies battling for the eighth spot, there's a great chance they could meet up again in the spring.

And the crazy thing is, these teams would look nothing like they did Monday night.

Both squads are battling injuries. Russell Westbrook's knee travails are well-documented in these parts, of course, but the Grizzlies played Monday without starting point guard Mike Conley, defensive pest Tony Allen and versatile swingman Quincy Pondexter. Conley sprained his ankle Friday and is out at least a week. Allen is coming back from a ligament injury in his hand. And Pondexter is out for the year with a foot fracture.

Add to the equation that Memphis big man Gasol is only recently back from a sprained knee ligament, and you can see that this Grizzlies squad is not the team that it will be in March or April.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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