This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 6:00 PM Central Daylight Time
Place: The Cumberland County Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1)
Enemy Blog(s): Rufus On Fire
Previous Meeting(s): None.
Ah, it feels good to be back. I had almost forgotten how to do these Previews. Tonight, the Thunder will be facing off against the Charlotte Bobcats in an exciting Pre-Season matchup. Unfortunately, you can't see it! Unless, of course, you happen to be in Fayetteville, North Carolina. In that case, you're good to go. But, the rest of us will have to suffer along with Matt Pinto on the Radio. Matt Pinto isn't a bad radio commentator or anything. In fact, I trust him more than any other local media as an expert on the Thunder. But for a visually oriented person like me, listening to a game on the radio is torture. Especially when you want to see players for the very first time.
Below: Some Pandering, A Prediction.
Nevertheless, the game will be our first look (or listen) at Cole Aldrich, who didn't have the chance to play for the Thunder Summer League team. We should also see extended minutes from guys like BJ Mullens and DJ White, who will be playing in lieu of Nick Collison and possibly Nenad Krstic, both of whom are injured to some extent. In addition, we will get our first looks at off-season acquisitions Morris Peterson, Daequan Cook, and Royal Ivey, all swingmen who will be looking to crack the rotation in one way or another. Lastly, we will also get to look at our Training Camp Invitees in Jerome Dyson, "Tweety" Carter, Elijah Milsap, and, most importantly, Longar Longar.
And, that's about it. It would be pointless to try to quantify the starting lineup at this point, with so much unknown about the game. But if Durant, Green, and Westbrook are playing, I think it's safe to assume that they'll be starting. And it will be interesting to see how well we run against the defensively-minded Bobcats, who gave us fits last year and handed us a crucial loss down the stretch. They have essentially the same lineup as last year, but keep an eye out for Shaun Livingston, a former Thunder backup, and Eduardo Najera, who is starting his 10th year in the NBA after graduating from OU. It's hard to believe it's been so long.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 87, Charlotte 81.