2012-2013 Game 44 Preview: Thunder Take On Kings/Sonics/Royals/Omaha Steakmakers

I can see it. - William Bennett Berry

Obviously, basketball isn't what's apparent on Kings fans minds right now. The Kings, while not being as bad as the doldrums of the Eastern Conference, still leave a lot to be desired.

2012-2013 NBA Season
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The Oklahoma City Thunder (33-10)
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The Sacramento Kings(16-27)
January 25th, 2013
Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California
9:00 PM CST
Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, Comcast Sports Network California
WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1), 1140 KHTK The Fan
Enemy Blogs: Sactown Royalty, Cowbell Kingdom, Bleed Black and Purple
Previous Meetings: Dec 14th (Thunder Lead Season Series 1-0)
Injury Report: None.
Probable Starters
Russell Westbrook PG Isaiah Thomas
Thabo Sefolosha SG Tyreke Evans
Kevin Durant SF John Salmons
Serge Ibaka PF Jason Thompson
Kendrick Perkins C DeMarcus Cousins

Obviously, basketball isn't what's apparent on Kings fans minds right now. They've been left with a team that's absolute garbage, riddled with badly picked prospects and a GM and coach that shouldn't really be there at all. But, we've got plenty of other places to discuss the move. If you're interested in that, hit up J.A. Sherman's recent chat with Sactown Royalty or another one of our articles about the Sonics.

Here, it's time to talk about basketball. The Kings, while not being as bad as the doldrums of the Eastern Conference, still leave a lot to be desired. Very occasionally, this team can put things together and outscore a greater opponent with their classic Nellieball style. But unless they're shooting around 50% from the floor, this team is about as effective as a wet noodle. They can beat some of the teams at the absolute bottom of the standings, but they don't even do that with any regularity.

What's wrong with the team? Well, the team regularly loses on the defensive boards due to their size, yet they don't have the speed to force enough turnovers from the opposing team. There's been zero consistency in their rotations, because the performance of their players is all over the map, and nobody has a defined role. They have no consistent point guard. Their rock of consistent scoring is an emotional basketcase. Need I say more? If the Kings do leave Seattle, at least their fans can take solace in the fact that their team has almost no hope of making the playoffs in the next 3 years.

What does this mean tonight? Well, in their last matchup, the Thunder really relied on Durant to pull them through the game, because Ibaka and Westbrook were effectively pressured. The Thunder sent the Kings to the line far more than they normally do, and they let Isaiah Thomas put together a mild Kings comeback in the late fourth. If the Thunder are to win tonight, they'll have to keep their offensive options producing while also making sure the Kings don't take too many high percentage shots.

All in all, I think the Thunder can get a solid road victory here. They've got to be bitter about the Golden State loss, and I just don't see the Kings being able to put together the type of offense necessary to overtake the Thunder. I've been wrong before, though.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 115, Sacramento Kings 109.

If you are looking for tickets to upcoming games, you can find Oklahoma City Thunder tickets here.

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