Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC's promising season cut short

A season that started off so promising, with high hopes and championship dreams, was cut short Wednesday night, derailed by the harsh realities of professional basketball, first an untimely trade and then a tragic injury.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 16, 2013

All the Thunder wanted to do was extend the series.

Take it back to Memphis and see what happens.

“It's not hoping for a miracle to win one game at home,” coach Scott Brooks said at his team's morning shootaround.

In the end, it wasn't meant to be.

A season that started off so promising, with high hopes and championship dreams, was cut short Wednesday night, derailed by the harsh realities of professional basketball, first an untimely trade and then a tragic injury.

After 93 games, 65 ending with Oklahoma City on the winning side, the obstacles finally became too much to bear.

The Memphis Grizzlies are now the team that's moving on, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their franchise's history following an 88-84 series-clinching win in Game 5 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

For the Thunder, it was an ending that felt all-too familiar.

After winning Game 1 against the Grizzlies, the Thunder dropped the next four, bowing out of these playoffs in the same fashion the team did in last year's NBA Finals.

This time, there was no James Harden, the sensational sixth man who was traded five days before the start of the regular season.

This time, there was no Russell Westbrook, the perennial All-Star point guard who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Thunder's second game of the first round.

“Even though they had a serious injury, they fought and battled,” said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. “They won the first round when they could have very easily lost that one. But they showed the heart of a champion, and that's the reason that they were the best team in the Western Conference all year.”

The final game was a fitting end to a season that both began and ended with frustration, confusion and anxiety.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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