This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 6:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), 660 WFAN New York
Previous Meeting(s): None.
Who's afraid of the New Jersey Nets?
I'm certainly not. Coach Brooks can trumpet up their importance all he wants, but saying that having Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, a young gun, and some shooters doesn't raise any alarm bells in my head. Pretty much every team in the NBA has that much or more talent. Add to that the fact that Devin Harris won't be playing tonight, and my fear of this team is the same amount of fear I have for the ants that like to invade my living room from time to time. Kevin Durant is a game time decision, but I don't think that affects things much, especially with how he's been playing.
Okay, so I'm exaggerating a bit. This team does have recent quality wins over Atlanta and Portland, they've competed with some good teams, and they're no longer the complete laughingstock they were a year ago. But, here's a newsflash for you folks: They're still ranked 12th in the Eastern Conference standings. Their roster still looks like a random combination of players that other teams didn't want.
The Thunder are just more talented and more experienced than this team at every level. The only way I could see a win from New Jersey's side would be a monster of a game from Lopez, Outlaw, and Morrow. Because their scoring isn't coming from elsewhere.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 101, New Jersey 87