Friday, October 10, 2008

Preseason Preview 2: Thunder at Kings

As predicted here, the Thunder still have yet to win an organized game of basketball. Now, they head from Billings to Northern California for a series of games against the Kings and Warriors. Can the Thunder get a win in the Golden State, perhaps even against Golden State? We shall see...

Backstory: The Thunder did not look good in their first ever game, and it took a bunch of bench players to at least get the score to look respectable. Fortunately for them , they face the Sacramento Kings, another one of the west bottom feeders, so hopefully OKC will enter the winners circle after tonight (the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets first win was against Sacramento, if that means anything). While Durant and other starters struggled in the last game, Westbrook led a strong looking bench. Also, the Thunders first game in an NBA arena, thank God. Few things annoy me more while watching a basketball game than seeing both the college and NBA 3-point lines together, so I'm glad we're done with that for now.

Analysis: Gone are Mike Bibby and Ron Artest, replaced instead by the formidable John Salmons and Bobby Brown, who will likely get the nod at PG with Beno Udrih out. King cornerstones Brad Miller and Kevin Martin have yet to contribute to their team, but theres a good chance they'll see some decent minutes tonight. As for the Thunder, expect the full starting 5 to take the court and perhaps even the debut of Joe Smith. I definitely think that the Thunder can sneak away with a win here. Sure it's in front of a hostile road crowd (if you can call pre-season game crowds hostile). However, they need to make sure they can contain Brad Miller, because they struggled at times against Minnesota's Kevin Love, basically a rookie version of the center.

Player to Watch: How about Zorgon's boy Joe Smith. If he sees action tonight, I'd expect the veteran to do well, especially after the Kings sit Miller. Also keep your eyes on Chris Wilcox, 'cause he exploded in the last game and had at least a couple of thunderous, no pun intended, dunks.

Predicted Outcome: Thunder 90 Kings 85

And good luck to my boyz in Dallas this weekend, BOOMER!