Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets: 2010-2011 Game 39 Preview; Closing Out the Season Series, A Slew of Injuries

This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.

Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (25-13) vs. The Houston Rockets (17-21)

Time: 7:30 PM Central Standard Time

Place: The Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net Houston

Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), SportsRadio 610

Enemy Blog(s): The Dream Shake

Previous Meeting(s): Nov. 17thNov. 28thDec. 15th

We meet our old nemesis tonight in the Houston Rockets. Though I doubt tonight's game will erase the image of Kevin Durant clanking that game-winning shot off the front of the rim last November, I do think it will be fitting revenge.

But how can I be so confident? How do I know for a fact the Thunder will win? Well, the Rockets are riddled with injuries. This means Brad Miller, Kevin Martin, and Chuck Hayes will all be missing tonight's game. Given that Miller and Hayes were backups, it doesn't exactly inhibit the Rockets to the core, but it does take away a good amount of star power and scoring. 

The Rockets have had a brutal January, where all 6 of their opponents have been above .500, leading to a 1-5 record that has plummeted their overall record to 17-21. They'll need a sharp turnaround if they are to get above .500 and beat out Denver or Portland for a playoff spot.

The Thunder generally aren't very good at stopping the Rockets defensively, so they'll have to have a balanced offensive attack, and hopefully get 4-5 players in the double digits. They'll also have to keep in mind that the Rockets aren't as slump prone as they used to be, since Aaron Brooks is now recovered and they can always have a true PG on the floor. But, all in all, it should be an easy win. The Rockets will be competitive through the end of the first half, and the Thunder will pull away in the third for a garbage time of a fourth quarter.

Prediction: Oklahoma City 113, Houston 101
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