Thursday, October 23, 2008

Preseason Pregame 6: Thunder at Suns

The incoming NBA season is breathing down everyone's neck. The Thunder take on the Suns tonight, but the real thing on everybody's mind is the season opener against Milwaukee. Though the Thunder have played impressively at times, I think improvement is hardly the word for how the team has developed, as shown by their (1-4) preseason record. Will their fortunes turn around tonight? Does it even matter? All this and more on this installment of...Preseason Pregame!!!

Backstory: As said earlier, the Thunder have played less than 4 star basketball thus far. Granted, the number of injuries they've had have certainly held them back. Still, OKC typically plays their starters far longer than anyone else and still have only mustered one victory. Is this something to be concerned about? Sure, they haven't looked good and there's no reason to think that Kyle Weaver or Robert Swift being healthy is going to change that. Is it time to panic? Of course not! Like anybody on the court, aside from John Lucas III and other preseason acquisitions, care about what happens in the game. And aside from that, it isn't like the expectations for this team were that high in the first place.

Analysis: Once again, the Thunder will likely be starting all the main cast of characters. Look for Petro to again see a lot of minutes and likely even start. Dez Mason will probably see a good amount of floor time, as Jeff Green is still iffy. KD's play this season had been, frankly, unpredictable. At times, he's a god, at others, he gives Bricktown a new meaning.

Unlike the Thunder, don't expect to see the big names for the Suns taking the court tonight. Shaq, Amare, Nash, and Raja will all likely see no more than 5 minutes in this game, but most likely none at all. Watch out for Alando Tucker and Boris Diaw, though, both having decent pre-seasons thus far.

Player to Watch: Chris Wilcox seems like the natural choice to me. There's no real inside presence playing tonight, and Weez should be able to eat up the lanky Diaw and still raw rookie Robin Lopez. Weezy explodes, trust me.

Predicted Result: Thunder 100 Suns 91

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