2012-2013 Game 57 Preview: Thunder Look to Sweep Hornets

Hopefully, this type of domination can continue. - USA TODAY Sports

It seems like an eternity since the Thunder last saw the Hornets, but here we sit. Unfortunately, the Hornets are no longer the pushovers they once were, with Eric Gordon finally back in the rotation.

2012-2013 NBA Season
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The New Orleans Hornets (20-38)
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The Oklahoma City Thunder (41-15)
February 27th, 2013
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
7:00 PM CST
Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, Fox Sports Network New Orleans
WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1), KMEZ 106.7 FM
Enemy Blogs: At The Hive, Hornets 24/7
Previous Meetings: Nov 16th, Dec 1st, Dec 12th (Thunder Lead Season Series 3-0)
Injury Report: A Clean Bill of Health
Probable Starters
Greivis Vasquez PG Russell Westbrook
Eric Gordon SG Thabo Sefolosha
Al-Farouq Aminu SF Kevin Durant
Anthony Davis PF Serge Ibaka
Robin Lopez C Kendrick Perkins

It seems like an eternity since the Thunder last saw the Hornets, but here we sit. Unfortunately, the Hornets are no longer the pushovers they once were, with Eric Gordon finally back in the rotation. Instead of being total deadbeats who succumbed to almost any team, they're now the plucky and inconsistent youngsters, hoping to steal a win wherever they can.

The biggest flaw in their game nowadays is ball control. Generally they run an objectively solid offense, but they just aren't good at anything but scoring. They can't rebound too well, they can't trap, they can't defend any area solidly, and they can't pass. Basically, the Hornets will run a decent ship, but many areas of their team are hopelessly average and they don't have an effective closer, so they'll often come out on the losing side. And they'll get blown out sometimes, because their players are young.

Anyway, the Thunder shouldn't be embarrassed about a close game tonight, but it's definitely a game they shouldn't lose. The Hornets are a team that will use their big men's ability to shoot the ball against the Thunder. I'm not saying that tonight isn't the night to use Perk or Thabeet, because the Thunder are talented enough to overcome that weakness. But when the Thunder used a small lineup against the Hornets back on December 12th, they were able to run away with the game. Just sayin'.

By the way, the other two matchups were total blowouts. On both occasions, the Hornets lost the battle of possessions and saw inexperienced players miss makeable shots. When it came right down to it, the Thunder just outscored the Hornets on both occasions. It's harder to do when they have Eric Gordon, and the Thunder have a target on their back, but they're also playing at home and the Hornets are on the second night of a back-to-back. So all in all, it should be a pretty easy win.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 113, New Orleans Hornets 88.

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

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