This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 7:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma, Madison Square Garden TV
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1)
Backstory: If somebody who had no idea about the current landscape of the NBA, they'd look at the above title and surmise that Oklahoma City was in for a major beating. However, that's not the case. The Knicks are a very erratic team, able to lose to doormats like Chicago, yet beat higher ups like Phoenix. Such is what happens when one has to deal with an under-talented small ball team, much like the Warriors of yore. Their record is a bit better than it used to be, but that's only because of victories over crap Eastern teams and teams that lack defense. Since the Thunder are largely a defensive team, I wouldn't say we have anything to worry about.
The Knicks roster looks ready to go, as recently injured Al Harrington will probably make the game.
Below: Matchups, Prediction
Center: Nenad Krstic vs. David Lee
David Lee has appered on the Celebrity Apprentice, but he's no more famous than Nenad Krstic. He's a scoring and rebounding machine with little defense. So I'd expect both centers to have a ball tonight.
Power Forward: Jeff Green vs. Wilson Chandler
I don't know much about Wilson Chandler, but I do know that he can score. Given the fact that he's small, I'd expect Jeff Green to have a solid night against him.
Small Forward: Kevin Durant vs. Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari is....guess what? Another scorer! Expect both players to have huge scoring nights, and for KD to beat Gallinari in all other categories.
Shooting Guard: Thabo Sefolosha vs. Jared Jeffries
Jared Jeffries is actually more of a defensive guard, so I wouldn't expect a whole lot to come out of this matchup.
Point Guard: Russell Westbrook vs. Chris Duhon
Chris Duhon is solid, but he's prone to missed shots. In any case, I think Russell can outclass him in every category but turnovers. Duhon takes good care of the ball.
Battle of the Benches:
The Knicks have a bench full of has-beens, ranging from Nate Robinson to Al Harrington to Larry Hughes to Dark Milicic. They'll have their nights, but not very often. By sheer name quality, their bench is better than ours, but in reality, I think the Thunder bench will have better stats.
Coaching and Intangibles:
The Knicks have had some recent luck, but so have we. Given that the Thunder are at home, I'd give them the upper hand intangible-wise.
As long as the Thunder stay true to their defensive formula, this game should be a piece of cake. The Knicks will stay close, but they'll tire out by the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 113, New York 100
We own New York!
How do you think the game will go? Vote in the Poll!
And, again, feel free to drop any comments you might have during, before, or after the game below. I'll be in the Ford Center cheering the team on, but I'll be back to write a recap later tonight. Go Thunder!