Last nights loss to the Hornets, breaking a 3 game Thunder winning streak, was as much a result of being extremely shorthanded as anything else. Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Thabo Sefolosha, and Robert Swift were all out of this one, and in the 4th quarter, it showed. Tonights game against the 76ers will likely not be much different. At the time of this writing, the status of all four of those players is still up in the air. We could be looking 1, 2, 3, all four, or even none of those guys playing tonight. I imagine we won't be finding out too much information until just before gametime as well. Robert Swift, although not injured, didn't make the trip to Nola for "personal reasons" according to the Oklahoman, so one has to wonder exactly whats going on there, and if he'll be in Uniform at the Ford Center tonight.
Even without Durant, Green, Sefolosha, and Swift, the Thunder reserves have stepped up and performed admirably. When you only dress 8, you have to expect this team to run out of gas late in the game, which is exactly what happened last night because of those 8 players going at it so hard just to stay in the game. By the time the 4th quarter hits, the effort these guys have excepted to stay close, has already taken its toll and no longer becomes possible to have a chance at winning, especially against playoff caliber teams.
Its hard to even preview a game, when you don't know who is going to play. One thing is for sure, if any of the big 3 that are injured, Kevin, Jeff, and Thabo, play tonight, the Thunder will have a much greater shot at winning the game. Thabo made an attempt to play last night before being scratched shortly before game time, so I hope, with one more day of rest, that he'll be ready to go. His presence on the court is so contagious defensively for this team, that it will help keep them in any game they play. This is especially true for any game at home in the Ford Center, since the Thunder play so much better at home than on the road.
Is anyone else out there excited to see how this team plays once all these guys come back? As competitive as this team has been without Durant and Green, I can't wait until we can take that terrific team-first, defensive-minded, basketball and inject the 40+ points per game that Green and Durant average back into the mix. I don't think anyone is expecting that to happen tonight, but with all these guys listed as day to day, it seems like when it happens, it will happen kind of unexpectedly, and without much notice. So, although its not going to do much good, lets just start crossing our fingers now.
This is the beginning of a full day of basketball here at WTLC as we are heading to the 66ers game this afternoon for a live blog at 3pm, with updates every 15 or so minutes. Following that we'll have the Live Commenting Thread, Game Recap, and Thundergirl of the week. Geez, its going to be a busy day for sure. Hope you guys enjoy it.