Game 27 Preview: Oklahoma City at New Jersey

This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.

Time: 6:00 PM Central Standard Time

Place: The Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma, YES

Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1)

Enemy Blog(s): Nets are Scorching

What can you say about the Nets? What could possibly get anyone excited about this matchup? Well, there's at least one thing....we get to see our old friend, Eduardo Najera!

But, besides that small detail, in all reality, this is a farce of a game. They have two wins, one against Chicago, one of the leagues huge disappointments, and against the Bobcats at home, which is no surprise seeing as the Bobcats can't win outside of Charlotte. The only X-Factor that's recently come into play is the return of Yi Jianlian, who has helped the Nets by contributing a 22 point and a 17 point game. And in those two games, the Nets lost to the Timberwolves and Rockets. Uh-huh.

Look, I'm willing to bet a million bucks my sense of superiority here is going to come back to bite me, when the Nets rally to their third win of the year. But, I'm not backing down. I'm not worried at all about this game. We'll be 4 wins above .500 by New Years. Book it.

Below: Matchups, Prediction

Matchup:

Center: Nenad Krstic vs. Brook Lopez

Nenad Krstic is at a disadvantage, but it's the only one of the game. Brook Lopez will put up solid numbers over Krstic.

Power Forward: Jeff Green vs. Yi Jianlian

This will be the main obstacle of the game, as Jeff Green still has a tendency to put up poor games against big men. Still, while Yi will have the better game, I don't think it will be too much of a problem.

Small Forward: Kevin Durant vs. Trenton Hassell

Hassell serves best as a scorer off of the bench, which he did a couple years back on KG's Timberwolves. Still, he's one of, if not the, weakest starting SFs in the league right now, which means exploit city for Kevin Durant. Expect a huge game from him unless Eduardo Najera comes in. Why? Because Eduardo Najera rocks!

Shooting Guard: Thabo Sefolosha vs. Courtney Lee

He was a solid rookie for Orlando last year, but he's a far below-average shooting guard. With Thabo Sefolosha guarding him, I doubt we'll see much trouble from this fellow.

Point Guard: Russell Westbrook vs. Devin Harris

One of the more intriguing matchups, it's still a bit of a sad story. Devin Harris isn't producing nearly as well as he used to, and he's missing tons of shots, including his 19.4 3 point shooting percentage. Still, while Devin Harris might have greater stats, I think Russell Westbrook's stats will be far more efficient.

Battle of the Benches:

The Nets bench is like a list of players forgotten by the NBA, like former Magic backups Keyon Dooling and Tony Battie. Josh Boone was promising at one point, but now he's secured his role as career backup. Terrence Williams is a okay rookie. Chris Douglas-Roberts and Rafer Alston might play, but that remains to be seen. And, last but not least, Eduardo Najera has recurring lower back muscle spasms, so he may or may not play. But if he does, expect this to be a competitive game. Why? Because he's Eduardo Najera, duh!

Coaching and Intangibles:

The Nets are on a 9 game losing streak. They're playing at home, but in such an empty arena, I don't think that makes much of a difference. The intangibles are definitely on the Thunder's side.

Bottom Line:

As long as the Thunder exploit the Small Forward matchup, they should be fine. The Nets have the potential talent there, but this team is so disheartened that I doubt they have a win in them. Expect victory.

Prediction: Oklahoma City 98, New Jersey 88

How do you think the game will go? Vote in the Poll!

And, again, feel free to drop any comments you might have during, before, or after the game below. Hopefully, I'll be along to drop my thoughts during the game as well. Go Thunder!

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