Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Preseason Pregame 5: Clippers at Thunder

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


Joe said...

You lucky dogs! On CnnSi and doing the blogger preview. I'm jealous!

Keep it up guys. Great stuff.


Through the Eyes of Pirate said...

Good analysis. Unfortunately the Thunder got owned by #4 Taylor of the Clippers. I have to give it to the coaching staff for continuing to go at the guy even after he proved he can take the ball pretty much anytime he wanted. I thought that Westbook showed some spark with slashed to the lane but did have issues with a the mid range jumper. Watson just needs to be traded away now. Really how many times can you turn the ball over in a row??

Zorgon said...

Joe- Thanks a lot man. Our luck will be short lived, though....no one can analyze stats like you, man. Assuming that you're Thunderguru Joe.

Pirate- Yeah, I give props to Taylor in the recap. I don't think that Watson was especially horrible, just that Taylor was incredibly exceptional at appyling the pressure. I mean, you'd have to have Steve Nash out there to avoid getting trapped by that guy when he was on.

Westbrook has a lot of growing to do. His jumper is pretty useless, and I can't count how many times this Pre-Season he's run down to the post for the express purpose of getting fouled and going to the line. I'm probably pretty biased in this sense, but I'd like to see more out of him.

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