This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 7:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The New Myriad, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Comcast Sports Net California
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), KHTK 1140 AM
Enemy Blog(s): Sactown Royalty
Previous Meeting(s): None.
Do you want to know what rebuilding looks like?
Look no further than the Sacramento Kings. In one of the most brutal Western Conferences in years, the Sacramento Kings sit near the bottom. Are they being mismanaged? Not really. They've just sold off all of their assets, and are focusing on developing young talent.
But as far as basketball goes, this team has a lot of holes. Taking a look at their starting lineup (Cousins/Thompson/Greene/Evans/Udrih), can you honestly say you'd really want one of their guys in our starting lineup? Or even in our rotation? Okay, that might be too homerish of s statement, but you get my point. The Kings have some decent role players. Tyreke Evans is a great scoring guard, Thompson, Landry, and Cousins are nice scoring big men, and Omri Cassipi is a nice shooter. But (with the possible exception of Evans), all of the guys are role players, not stars. Granted, it is a deep collection of role players, as I could see any of the first 10 players in their rotation getting minutes on a playoff team, but there's no star power there. So even when this team does play well, they find it incredibly hard to get points when they need them in the clutch. Aside from that problem, this team plays little perimeter defense, leading to guards in the Russell Westbrook mold negating their perimeter scorers.
How will this game go? I can see the Thunder winning.by 20, and I can see the Thunder winning by 5. Either way, I see the Thunder winning. They don't really have an answer for Westbrook or Durant, so I could easily imagine those guys combining for 55-60 points tonight. Ibaka and Collison will have trouble inside though, so expect the constant rotation of big men to continue. Nenad Krstic sat out yesterday's practice, and I don't expect him to be rushed back to play an opponent like the Kings. All in all, it really depends on whether the Kings can click and find the right scorers tonight. If not, they'll fall hard and fast.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 105, Sacramento 93.