This is it folks, the last game of the Thunder's inaugural season in Oklahoma City. It's been a season with tremendous lows, and some rewarding highs, but overall, was a season about development for this teams talented young roster. With another chapter in the book for guys like Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, the Thunder move closer to where they eventually want to end up, in the playoffs, as a title contender. There is no question this team is tremendously better right now, than they were to start the year. If you are like me, I'm sure you are quite sick of hearing about this teams 3-29 record to start the season. So finishing with 20 wins over their last 50 games is a clear improvement over the way they started. To get to that 20 win mark during their last 50 games played, they'll have to get by a team with a sub-20 win total, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Last Friday, the Thunder sent the fans out of the Ford Center with a tremendous home victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. It was a win that sent the fans home for the summer on a happy note, and at the same time, sent the Bobcats right out of the playoff hunt. While they won't have anything as meaningful to play for tonight, they do still have pride, and heading into the summer on a positive note. They've already left the fans in Oklahoma City with a good win to tide them over until next season, now its their turn to send themselves into the offseason on a good note.
This will also be the final chance for some Thunder players to impress management in an effort to stay with the team during the summer. The team is clearly still tirelessly evaluating all their options as they head toward the off season, and NBA Draft. They even took another look at Earl Watson on Monday, after he had ridden the bench for weeks. This came even after Earl was quoted in the media as saying that he didn't believe he'd be brought back next season. Perhaps the Thunder wanted to take one or two final looks to make sure they were making the right decision. So if guys like Earl Watson, Shaun Livingston, Chucky Atkins, Damien Wilkins, and D.J. White make it on the court tonight, they should have some extra motivation behind their game knowing that this is their last chance to impress the front office before decisions are made on the players futures in Oklahoma City.
The Clippers come into this game with just one win in their last nine games, and even that was only to the league's worst team, the Sacramento Kings. So the door is wide open for the Thunder to walk through tonight, but they'll need a better effort than they showed in their two previous efforts since the big win on Friday night. The bad news is that the Clippers have owned the Thunder this season, winning all three contests, two of which came on the road in the Ford Center. The two Ford Center wins came during that 3-29 streak for the Thunder, and the third came in L.A. when the Clippers won by just 3 points. So you can really look at it one of two ways, the Clippers own us this season, or we're due. I'm going to look at it like we're due, and we need this win heading into the off season.
In any case, this is your last chance to see the Thunder this season, so if need be, set your DVR's. The game won't begin until after 9:30pm local time, so I can't imagine there will be many people in Oklahoma watching, but like I said, if nothing else, make sure you record the game so you can at least watch the final game of the Thunders historic first season in Oklahoma City. With any luck, and a good effort, it should be a win for the Thunder.