Durant Hopes Sleepless Night Leads to Dream Ending

Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant didn’t get much sleep last night, tossing and turning, thinking about missed shots and a missed opportunity.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I couldn’t talk to anybody, I woke up this morning still feeling like I was in the game, I was dreaming about it, so it was tough.”

KD felt better though when he arrived at the Integris Thunder Training Center for today’s practice.

“These guys were joking and playing around like nothing happened, so that helped me out, but we’re still focused we had a great film session and just getting in here around these guys makes it a little easier on me.”

Durant’s 11-point performance in Game 6 caused his sleepless night and despite his prowess as the two-time NBA scoring champion, he had a ready explanation for why things went wrong.

“Everything was going through my head, I had fouls on me so I didn’t want to force anything and get a charge. I didn’t want to be too physical on the defensive end, I was just thinkin too much rather than just playing. So that’s a lesson learned for me.”

Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks told reporters even though Durant was shouldering much of the load for Friday night’s loss, there were plenty of other reasons the Thunder couldn’t win the game. Brooks is confident though that will change Sunday.

“When we come back to the gym (after a loss) our practices and our film sessions are always very good. Our guys are always energized and they had good energy today so I’m sure Kevin and everyone else will be fine tomorrow.

The Thunder have had a nice little insurance policy in their back pockets since Wednesday night, Game 7 inside Oklahoma City Arena in front of their incredible home fans. That setting could help make the difference.

“I’ve always said I think the crowd affects the home team more,” Nick Collison has told reporters many times. “Gives them more of a boost and more energy, maybe more confidence so it’s harder to compete against a team that’s really got it rollin’ at home.”

The Thunder benefitted from that atmosphere in Wednesday night’s blowout win and the Grizzlies did the same Friday night. Now it’s the Thunder’s turn again in this win or go home Game 7.

“Obviously we know if we lose we go home, if we win we go to Dallas so this will be an exciting game,” said Brooks. “It’s exciting for the players, the coaches, the fans, our city. This is the only Game 7 so far in the playoffs out of 12 series so far, it doesn’t happen often.”

“Our crowd is going to be very important,” said Durant, “We’ve got to come out with energy we can’t rely on us just being at home to get the win. It’s about us bringing that energy from the beginning and playing with a little flair and a little grit and go from there, we’re all excited.”

Collison told the media there won’t be any big changes going into Game 7, just a better effort to execute a game plan that has worked before.

“We have to play better as a team, our level of play just has to be higher,” he said. “That will put Kevin in much better opportunities to succeed than we put him in (Friday). So in terms of strategy we’re not going to do a whole lot different we just need to play better, that’s easier said than done sometimes, but there’s really no magic solution.”

Durant is hoping he saw into the future a little bit though during the few moments when he managed to get some sleep before the sun came up Saturday morning. “I made a lot of my shots in the dream, it wasn’t a nightmare. I made a lot of shots and we won the game.”

The Thunder lived through a nightmare ending Friday night, hopefully Durant’s dream early Saturday morning will come true by late Sunday afternoon.