It's a "Must Win" For Both Teams

By Randy Renner

Most coaches tend to dance around some issues and some questions but when Clippers boss Doc Rivers was asked if tonight's game was a must win for his team or for the Thunder Rivers took it one step further.

"I think it's a must win for both teams," he said, "but definitely it's a must win for us. You win tonight and you're one win away and if you lose you're in an elimination game."

Rivers was also asked about putting Chris Paul back on Kevin Durant tonight and he reminded media members, "you know we actually did that some early in the game too but no one made a big deal out of it, but we're not gonna do a steady diet of that. We will do it at times."

And when those times come the Thunder will have to be ready with a counter.

"We have to move the ball," Durant said after Monday's practice and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks echoed the NBA's MVP.

"We got too stagnant on offense," Brooks said of the end of Game 4. "We have to get KD better looks and we have to take advantage of the double teams they put on him."

Because that's really the key to having Chris Paul front Durant, they also bring in someone else and at times two other players. Guys have to move around and make themselves available for passes.

NOTES:

  • The Clippers are 0-7 in Game 5 of a series that’s tied 2-2. The Thunder have lost three straight Game 5s at home. Memphis this season, Memphis last season and Houston last season.
  • The Clippers have made 101 threes through 11 playoff games this post-season. That’s the most in the NBA. They were 15-for-29 (51.7 percent) in Game 1 of this series but just 19-for-74 (25.7 percent) since.
  • In Game 4 Durant was the Thunder's best perimeter defender. The Clippers attempted eight 3-pointers with KD as the primary defender and they made only one of those shots (12.5 percent). In fact Durant has been outstanding defending threes the entire post-season. He's allowing opponents to shoot just 29 percent (12-for-42) from beyond the arc.