Thunder Gameday: @ New Orleans Hornets (38-22) Game Prep

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The Thunder earned a much deserved couple of days off after having won three games in a row, for the first time ever. One would think there could be no better time to head down to Nola, than after a three game winning streak, so as to take a lot of conifidence down there and hopefully get a solid win against a contender. The Hornets though, won't be intimidated as they bring their own six game winning streak into tonight game. The Hornets seem to be rejuvenated since the rescinded trade of Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City in a budget move by New Orleans. Since his return to the starting lineup, the Hornets have yet to be defeated, and many Thunder fans and sports analysts are crying, "The Thunder rescinded this trade....why?"

The Hornets own the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise right now, as they have beaten them 9 straight times, and will look for 10 straight tonight, and their 7th in a row for the season schedule. The Hornets domination of the franchise goes all the way back to December of '06, when the Thunder got their last win over New Orleans as the Seattle Supersonics.

If you are wondering whether or not Kevin Durant and Jeff Green are going to play tonight, well, so am I. Durant is actually listed as OUT, so those reports earlier this week that Kevin Durant could return this weekend, aren't going to pan out. Jeff Green, on the other hand, made a comment on Friday saying his back felt great, but didn't know if he'd be in the lineup tonight. In fact, its really a craps shoot as to what lineup will be on the court tonight for the tipoff altogether as Durant is listed as OUT, while Green, Sefolosha, and Nick Collison are all listed as "day-to-day." Surely all three of them won't be out of this game, but can you imagine the lineup and rotation if all three plus Durant were to miss tonight? Not to mention if all four of these players were out, we might as well rule out much hope of winning.

The Thunder will need to do exactly as they have been doing during their 3 game winning streak if they hope to have a chance tonight. Play team-first, defensive minded basketball. Nenad Krstic has really stepped up as the guy who can lead the way scoring when our top 2 scorers were out, and will need to do that again tonight if we're to compete with the Hornets. Also, if Collison doesn't play, the matchup problems we already were going to have with Tyson Chandler will only get worse.

There are a lot of question marks heading into tonights game, but at least the team is playing well, and playing unselfish team basketball. That exactly what you need to compete with teams like the Hornets. I'll see you later for the live commenting thread. TIpoff is 7pm Local.

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