This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0) vs. The Chicago Bulls (0-1)
Time: 6:00 PM Central Daylight Time
Place: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, Michigan
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net Detroit.
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), 97.1 FM The Ticket
Enemy Blog(s): Motown String Music, Need 4 Sheed, Detroit 4 Lyfe
Previous Meeting(s): None.
It's a Friday evening, so I'll keep this one short and sweet.
After an epic season opener against the Bulls, the Thunder now have to settle down and realize that the NBA isn't all roller coaster rides. Tonight, we face the boring 'ol Pistons. This team hasn't had an identity since Chauncey Billups skipped town, and ever since then they've seemed to be riding the wave of decline. The Allen Iverson Fiasco and injuries to Prince and Hamilton can't have helped, but the Pistons are still a team in limbo. Do they still have what it takes to contend, or even make the playoffs? Or do they mortgage and finally decide it's time to rebuild?
So far, the signs are pointing to a rebuild. They lost their first game against New Jersey, who played Joe Smith and Johan Petro, for crying out loud. The Pistons utilize an almost European playing style, with four guys sitting on the perimeter and one guy on the inside (Wallace) to set picks. Unfortunately, Wallace was never good offensively, and he's far past the point in his career where he could dominate the paint defensively. Meanwhile, Stuckey is slowly evolving into more of a Point Guard role, but he still can't hit threes, leaving the outside shooting to Rip Hamilton and Austin Daye, who are on and off. And as far as their backups are concerned, no one fills the paint like Wallace does (Maxiell is too short, and Villanueva is offensively-oriented). This, to me, is the main hole the team has. They're mostly a bunch of old scorers and roleplayers matched together for whatever reason, and there's no superstar to tie them together. Of course, McGrady could arise in that role, or older guys like Wallace could start playing like their young selves, but the chances are doubtful at best.
In any case, this game should be an easy victory for the Thunder. Penetration will be an easy job, and as long as we force the Pistons into bad jumpers and don't let them get to the line, they can easily be held in check.
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 her during the game, and I'll be back to write a recap later tonight. Go Thunder!
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 her during the game, and I'll be back to write a recap later tonight. Go Thunder!