The Thunder racked their first win of many (hopefully) the other night in Tulsa. As I predicted, the crowd was only decent. On the other hand, it was just a preseason game and to my surprise, there was a whole lot of Thunder gear in the crowd. Still though, tonight marks the opening of play in the Ford Center, and look for an even more supportive fans in what may be the most vigorous crowd in preseason history. The era of Thunder basketball in Bricktown had begun...
Backstory: The Thunder are finally in the win column, but how will they cope with this success? Young teams generally respond with winning in two ways, either they get on a roll with confidence, or they become overconfident and suffer greatly. Which will the Thunder choose? Well, neither. This is the preseason, nobody freakin' cares about winning!
Also, Kevin Durant was en fuego in the last game, or actually, the fourth quarter. Which KD will we see tonight? I'd bet on the one from the first three quarters. I expect Kevin to turn it on during the regular season, but really, who can stay pumped for preseason more than one quarter?
Analysis: The Thunder starters continue to improve, along with Desmond Mason. Everyone else, especially Russ Westbrook, seem to either be in park or reverse. Westbrook is shooting less accurately than those random thug guys in National Treasure.
Still though, the Thunder continue to be hampered by injuries. Damien Wilkins was taken out of the fourth quarter of the last game and Jeff Green won't return tonight, not to mention Joe Smith. Actually, it's probably best that they catch the injury bug now, so that they can get it out of the way for the regular season.
Now, back to the game, the Clippers are a better team than the Thunder. However, that didn't stop them when they played the Rockets, a very good team. If Baron Davis or Chris Kaman see much action, it could be tough, but as evidenced by the last game, not impossible.
Player to Watch: OK, it's about time I give it to him. Be on the lookout for Thunder forward Damien Wilkins tonight. He didn't look to spectacular the other night, but I have a feeling his return will be very impressive, and it won't be too long before he's a household name in the metro area.
Predicted Result: Thunder win their first game in the Ford Center (I'm a sap for good stories) 100-94