This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (41-23) vs. The Cleveland Cavaliers (12-52)
Time: 12:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: Quicken Loans Arena (The Q), Cleveland, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net Ohio
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), News Radio WTAM 1100
Enemy Blog(s): Fear the Sword, Cavs: The Blog
Previous Meeting(s): Dec 12 (Thunder Lead Season Series 1-0)
are going into Cleveland to face the NBA's worst team: The Cleveland Laughaliers. Most people have already marked this game in the win column. Though I doubt anybody has payed much attention to this team after they broke their long losing streak last month, I'm here to tell you they have improved since that stretch. The return of Daniel Gibson
has given them a much needed boost, since they hardly have anyone else on their roster, and Baron Davis
has functioned as an effective scorer in the games he's played in since he came from the Clippers
This boost has led to a fluke win over the Lakers
and two wins over the Knicks
, but not much else. Their team has, admittedly, gotten more competitive, but losing by ten points every game instead of twenty isn't exactly that much to get excited about. Compounding their problem is the loss of Baron Davis, who is in Los Angeles following the recent death of his Grandmother, whom he was very close to. Though I don't know him personally, my condolences go out to him and his family. In addition, Antawn Jamison
had his pinky injured a couple of weeks ago against the Sixers, and will likely be out for the rest of the season. Lastly, Semih Erden
, the Turkish Center recently traded from the Celtics
, is currently out with a groin pull.
Below: Cavaliers Roster Analysis, What the Thunder Need to Do to Win, Prediction!
Given the fact that the Cavaliers got slammed by twenty against the Bucks
on Wednesday, I just don't see them having that much of a chance at winning this game. The teams starting lineup is serviceable, and can even tread water against some lower-tier NBA teams. But their backups are guys I simply have not heard of. Christian Eyenga
? Manny Harris
? Alonzo Gee
? Samardo Samuels
? All of these guys are undrafted rookies, while another guy, Ryan Hollins
, is a 2nd round NBA end of bench journeyman. Sure, JJ. Hickson, Anthony Parker
, Daniel Gibson, Joey Graham
and Ramon Sessions
are nice role players or backups on other teams, but they simply don't have the star power to carry their team through times when undrafted rookies are on the floor. It's rare to say in the NBA, but the talent just isn't there.
All the Thunder need to do in order to win this game is to rely on their star power. Normally, I'd preach on making sure that the offense doesn't rely too heavily on Westbrook, Durant, and the three, but in this game, it really doesn't matter. Just give Durant an isolation against Alonzo Gee. See what happens. Obviously, the Thunder can't play lazily and assume this is a walkover, but as long as our stars play their game, we should be fine.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 111, Cleveland 94