When you are 11-38, there aren't many games where the entire country will at least peak in at what's going on, but this game is different for a good number of reasons. First up, is of course, the first ever matchup of the #1 and #2 overall picks from the 2007 NBA Draft, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden (Oden missed last season due to injury). The much ballyhooed debate over which player should be drafted over the other is still a hot topic as both players are easily on their way to becoming NBA Superstars. The other is a bit of a side note, in regards to Brandon Roy, and head coach Nate McMillan. Brandon Roy is a native of Seattle, and of course Nate was a longtime player in the Sonics organization for well over 10 years. Both have expressed discontent about the team leaving Seattle.
Needless to say this is going to be a fun game to watch for numerous different reasons. Nate is going to have his boys ready to play because of the sentimental factor of the Thunder being the team that used to be his. Its easy to understand why he would want to pound the Thunder into the ground, and while the PR heavy world we live in would never allow him to say, we definitely know its on his mind. As for Brandon Roy, well, he's capable of going off any night of the week. Playing against the team that he grew up cheering for is already enough motivation to play well, but when you consider that the team moved away from his home and changed their name, effectively killing his childhood favorite, well, now you have some real motivation.
Of course all that could just be BS as well. There are 82 games in a season, and this is just one of those. For Portland they are coming off of a loss that came after a 5 game winning streak, and they will be focused on not letting one of the leagues worst teams give them a second loss in a row. As for the Thunder, they quickly find themselves in the middle of that unforgiving February schedule, and now they need to try and get wins while they are home because they have been so hard to get on the road.
The focus of the night for the Thunder is obviously going to be to put a couple bodies down low on Oden, and be physical defensively with Brandon Roy. The only chance the Thunder have in this game is to be physical defensively, and with the lack of defensive intensity lately, you can understand why I'm a little worried.