This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 7:30 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Southwest (The Same Station?)
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1)
Backstory: Ah, the Mavericks again. Not much has changed since last time we played them. They're still good. They're still winning games. And they're still better than us. However, one thing that has changed is fact fact that they have Eduardo Najera, former OU player. I doubt we see him in action tonight, but he's listed as the backup PF on the Yahoo! Depth Chart for the Mavericks, so I'm keeping hope alive!
Below: Matchups, Prediction
Center: Nenad Krstic vs. Erick Dampier
Last time, these guys pretty much equaled each other. Krstic is soft, and Dampier is old. Expect the same to happen again tonight, with Dampier having more boards.
Power Forward: Jeff Green vs. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is pretty much the only big man Jeff Green has done relatively well against, and I'd expect that trend to continue here. Big games from both guys.
Small Forward: Kevin Durant vs. Shawn Marion
Last time, Kevin Durant got completely shut down by Marion and Howard. This time, I'd expect KD to have a better game, and for Howard and MArion to have typical games.
Shooting Guard: Thabo Sefolosha vs. Jose Juan Barea
Last time, Sefolosha limited Barea, but didn't shut him down. Given Barea didn't play the whole game last time, I'd expect Barea to improve his offensive production.
Point Guard: Russell Westbrook vs. Jason Kidd
These guys had pretty similar games last time, with Westbrook scoring more, and Kidd assisting more.
Battle of the Benches:
The Mavericks have a far superior bench. And Rodrigue Beaubois still owns BJ Mullens.
Coaching and Intangibles:
Both teams are coming off of tough losses, with the Thunder's being to the Spurs, and the Mavericks' being to the Lakers. Both were two days ago. The Mavericks have the advantage though, since they're at home.
This is another tough game that I think the Thunder just can't win. They got killed in the 4th quarter the last time these two teams played, and the Mavericks have superior talent and depth at every level. Hey, I'm not saying a win is impossible, but I seriously doubt it. They have weapons everywhere, and we have absolutely no way of stopping Dirk. They, on the other hand, have been able to stop every player on our team.
Prediction: Dallas 97, Oklahoma City 89
Boo! I'm such a reverse-homer!
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 teams on, but I'll be back to write a recap later tonight. Go Thunder!