2012-2013 Game 32 Preview: Thunder Need to Overcome Weaknesses Vs. 76ers

Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. - William Bennett Berry

When the Sixers challenged the Thunder back in November, they were in the midst of that win streak and were looking like they could challenge for a solid playoff spot in the East. Now, they're just maddeningly inconsistent.

2012-2013 NBA Season
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The Philadelphia 76ers (15-18)
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The Oklahoma City Thunder (24-7)
January 4th, 2012
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
7:00 PM CST
Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, Comcast Sports Network Philadelphia
WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1), 97.5 The Fanatic
Enemy Blogs: Liberty Ballers, Depressed Fan, The Sixer Sense
Previous Meetings: Nov 24th (Thunder Lead Season Series 1-0)
Probable Starters
Jrue Holiday PG Russell Westbrook
Jason Richardson SG Thabo Sefolosha
Thaddeus Young SF Kevin Durant
Evan Turner PF Serge Ibaka
Lavoy Allen C Kendrick Perkins

The Sixers have gone 5-14 after starting 10-6. Yes, they're playing like total garbage. When they challenged the Thunder back in November, they were in the midst of that win streak and were looking like they could challenge for a solid playoff spot in the East. Now, the Sixers are just maddeningly inconsistent. They've got recent solid wins against the Grizzlies and the Hawks, but they continue to drop games against teams like Suns and the Trail Blazers. Granted, their schedule has been an absolute nightmare in terms of quality opponents, but they've still dropped too many games for comfort.

In terms of composition, the Sixers are basically the same as they were. They still love to play a fast offense and spread the floor. They take care of the ball well, but they struggle to get to the line when things go sour, and can be subject to big swings during their games. Against the Thunder, they're usually good at avoiding traps and getting the ball to open shooters in transition. It took a mighty effort from Durant to get a Thunder win in overtime.

The recipe for a good Sixer victory usually involves the combination of two of these three things: 1. Consistent trips to the line. 2. Excellent field goal percentage. 3. Solid ball control. Those things are pretty easy to come by against the Thunder. OKC fouls a decent amount, allows too many open shots, and struggles to force turnovers. Thus, the Sixers should be primed for a decent showing tonight, despite it being the sixth game on a seven game road trip.

Regardless, after Wednesday nights harrowing loss to Brooklyn, it's almost a sure thing that the Thunder will be motivated to win tonight and wrap up their home stand. Be sure to keep an eye out for former Thunder players Royal Ivey and Damien Wilkins. Also, watch how Kevin Martin performs, because he's struggled a bit from the field as of late. He also wasn't too good in the Thunder's previous game against the Sixers, despite his generally solid transition game.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 102, Philadelphia 76ers 94.

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

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