At last, the preseason finally is coming to a close. I am certainly relieved that we can finally get this over with and get to some basketball with some meaning. Undoubtedly, the Thunder are ready to put this behind them as well. It's been disastrous this pre-season, plagued with injury and above all, loses. I'm sure P.J. and the guys are ready for a regular season...also bound to be plagued by injuries and loses. But at least those loses will mean something.
Without further adieu, here's your preview for tonight's finale, live from...Ontario, California???
Backstory: Yes, it's true that the Thunder have only had one win in six attempts. I'm not here to make things appear better than they are, but to the Thunder's defense, they haven't really been destroyed in any game. I mean, that still isn't winning, but at least it is humiliation. It's probably important to the team to end on a positive note though, at least in their eyes. if one win is 10x better than being winless, then two wins must be at least 3x as good as one. Does a win for the final game of the preseason give a team any added momentum? I don't know, probably not, but there's a chance, and as long as that chance is there, the Thunder should try to reach out and grab it.
Analysis: This always seems to come up, but it has become a major storyline of the Thunder preseason. Injuries have pestered the team constantly thus far. Just as soon as Jeff Green and Robert Swift were able to come back, Chris Wilocx and Joe Smith found their ways back on the bench. This has resulted in key players like KD putting in way more minutes than they should, though to their credit they've handled it well.
As for how the team's match-up, the talent level is far higher on the Lakers. I've given up trying to predict who and how long players will be on the court this preseason, because I always seem to get it wrong. For this game though, it matters not. The Lakers will definitely have the talent edge no matter who takes the floor. If those players happen to include Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, or of course the assassin Kobe Bryant, we could be in for a drubbing, though.
Player to Watch: This is a stretch, and I'm not saying we should be expecting Thunder Wonder status for this guy, but look for John Lucas III to have a really solid game off the bench. Remember, he's fighting for his spot on the roster, so I think the motivation of trying to make the squad means he either will be spectacular or try too hard and look terrible (hoping for the former).
Predicted Result: Lakers 101 Thunder 87