After being easily handeled by the Bucks, OKC hopes to rebound against the Rockets tonight, a task much easier said than done. Still, the NBA is where amazing happens, so don't rule it out. Likewise though...don't get your hopes up. This team is far superior to our own, and arguably one of the best in the league.
Backstory: Despite a full Ford Center, the Thunder were not able to punctuate opening night with a victory. Maybe the Thunder will turn out to be one of those road warrior teams that finds comfort in foreign arenas. OK, wishful thinking perhaps, but you never know. It would be wonderful if the first ever Thunder regular season victory was tonight in Houston. Being realitic though, we may have to wait untill Minnesota comes to town...or Boston!
Rafer Alston vs. Earl Watson
In my opinion, the street ball legend has the decisive offensive edge over Watson. Also, because his supporting cast is so much more talented, Alston doesn't need to concern himself as much with actually running the team and can spend more time making sure he contributes when needed.
Tracy McGrady vs. Kevin Durant
Let's not get ahead of ourselves now. Durant may be the team's best player, but he's no Tracy McGrady. TMac is usually, except when the Lakers are in town, the best shooting guard on the court. Tonight is no exception.
Ron Artest vs. Jeff Green
Another ridiclous match-up. Ron Artest is a proven defender, scorer, all-star, and fan puncher. Nothing about Jeff Green is proven. Some people (Jim Traber) say that there's all star potential in Green. Still, others question whether he should even be starting. Tonight should tell us a lot about who's right.
Luis Scola vs. Chris Wilcox
Hey, I don't even know if Wilcox is going to start tonight...but he should be. At times he's the best player on the team, and if he plays to potential, which I'm optimistic (as always) that he will, he should easily outperfrom the overshadowed Scola.
Yao Ming vs. Nick Collison
Edge: YaoDon't make me laugh. Nothing against Collison, but he's not even tall for a power forward. At center, and against Yao Ming no less? Pfft, there will be times where he may as well not even be there defensively.
Battle of the Benches
Edge: Rockets Bench
It's not even close. Rockets bench could give Thunder starters a good game. Shane Battier, Steve Francis, and Bobby Jackson off the pine? What do we got? DMase? Petro? Joe Smith masquerading as Rip Hamilton? Not really even comparable.
Coaching and Intangibles
Both Adelman and Carlesimo are former Portland and Golden State coaches. Adelman, though, has made it to the Finals, where Carlesimo has never made it out of the first round. Then again, neither has McGrady. This isn't the playoffs though, so Rockets should coast.
Player to Watch: If you include the preseason, he's been a steady performer all season. So, no reason not to go with ole' relaible once more. Don't know why he didn't start the last game, not really a good reason. If P.J. sits him again, the fans won't be happy, not to mention Wilcox, who already has motivational problems.
Predicted Result: Rockets 110 Thunder 91