When the Oklahoma City Thunder enter the arena tonight to take on San Antonio, the Spurs won't need a reminder about how things went the last time these two teams met. But just in case you need a quick refresher, I'll be brief. The Spurs dominated the game early in the Ford Center leading by as many as 17 points before the Thunder produced arguably its most stingy defensive effort of the season, and came all the way back to win in a 78-76 defensive battle that had the Ford Center rocking louder than it has all season. Easily the most impressive and biggest upset of the season for the Thunder considering the Spurs record, and the way they had to play to overcome the daunting 17 point Spurs lead.
Earlier yesterday, I reported that Shaun Livingston was getting the big call-up and joining the Thunder, it is still, at the time of this writing, unconfirmed, and has not been mentioned on any major news outlet or NBA Team page for the Thunder or 66ers. Either the information I got was incorrect, or they were waiting until today sometime to make the announcement. At this point, I'm not really sure, but I think it would be fun to see what he can do at the NBA level with our team. In Tulsa, I feel like he's shown great court vision and solid passing ability with his clear focus being dishing out assists. With Watson riding the bench, perhaps the Thunder higher ups want to see if Livingston is going to be a guy they can rely on, or if they will need to look elsewhere for depth at the point guard position if they decide to move Watson.
The Thunder will have a little extra competition on the court this time compared to a few weeks ago as Manu Ginobli has since made his return to the team. Although the Thunder were able to defensively stifle this Spurs team in the Ford Center recently, they will have their work cut out for them if they wish to do so again. Its never easy to duplicate such a terrific performance, but may be impossible to duplicate it on the road, especially if they fall back into the rutt they were in against the Lakers and Raptors, and once during the 4th quarter of the Celtics game on Sunday.
The Spurs are 3-2 in their last five games, but the two losses came by a combined six points to the Hornets most recently, and also the Rockets at the beginning of that five game stretch. On paper, this should be an easy game for the Spurs, but hey, it should have been easy last time too, and the Thunder came up with their most impressive defensive performance of the year.
...well the power went out twice while I was writing this, so I'm just going to give up because its getting late, and I have to get up early. Sorry for the lack of a decent preview. I got tired of trying to write a preview 3 different times, and each time it came out different, so it is what it is. I don't know, my brain stopped working.