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 Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Comcast Sports Net Washington, District of Columbia
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), 106.7 The Fan
As we roll in through March and the regular season comes to it's inevitable end, the games tend to blend together. And now, mere hours after the Thunder stomped Cleveland, they are now in Washington ready to take on the Wizards. Normally, I wouldn't bat an eyelash at this rebuilding team. But earlier in the season, we were treated to a double overtime festival against them, and the Thunder looked hapless. The Thunder did eventually end up winning, but they were struggling to defeat a team that just kept shooting contested jumpers over and over again, with a few backdoor cuts mixed in.
Luckily, the Wizards are still really terrible. They let Kirk Hinrich go at the Trade Deadline, and they also bought out Mike Bibby and Al Thornton in order to let them pursue careers with better teams. John Wall has his moments of brilliance, but he's still a rookie and highly prone to mistakes. Nick Young is a nice bright spot as well, functioning as an efficient scorer. Compounding their situation tonight is the potential loss of Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis to a sprained right shoulder and a sore right knee, respectively.
In all honesty, while the Wizards are better than the Cavaliers, given their injuries and how badly they've lost to opponents recently, I don't foresee them being much of a threat. But, this game may have one saving grace. The rumour mill has spoken, and apparently, Kendrick Perkins may make his debut tonight against the Wizards. Everyone wants to see him play against the Heat, but Washington would be a nice warm-up for him, and it would function as a sneak preview for die hard fans.
Otherwise, expect a high scoring affair as the Wizards throw up shot after shot in the hopes of producing offense and finding the hot hand. As long as the Thunder play solid defense, get out in transition, and force the Wizards to play their game, they should be fine.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 105, Washington 93