This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Time: 7:00 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Place: A Nameless Multipurpose Sports Complex, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia
Radio:WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), Sportsradio 610 WIP
Previous Meetings: None.
Ever since Allen Iverson left town, the 76ers have been mired in mediocrity. They haven't been good (beyond a first round ousting from the playoffs), and they haven't been bad (aside from last season, where they won 27 games but were still 12th in the East). Did the 76ers do anything remarkable this season in order to reverse that trend? Not really. They hired a new coach, Doug Collins. They drafted Evan Turner, who has done adequately but not remarkably at SG. And they got a bunch of random players through trades and free agency. They traded Willie Green for Darius Songaila. They traded Samuel Dalembert for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes. They also made a huge signing in....career backup Tony Battie. Big Whoop.
In all honesty, this is the same 76ers team I've seen for years. Names and faces may have changed, but they all look like lateral moves to me. They won't do anything to excite anyone this season, and probably not the next. They've done some good in securing a back court for the future in Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday, but they don't have any talent down low, as Hawes is mainly a scorer, Battie is in the twilight of his career, Elton Brand hasn't excited anyone in 3 or 4 years, and Darius Songaila is average at best. They're back court heavy and front court light, yet they still don't score a whole lot. That's the 76ers for ya.
Below: How the 76ers and Thunder Are Doing This Season, Prediction!
They're 2-5 currently, and they've been competitive in most of their games. When it's all said and done though, they should hit around 30. They just don't have the talent level to win most games. A whole lot of good, but not a lot of great, and not a lot of experience.
Back in the Thunder camp, emotions are running low. The team that some predicted to win their division is still at .500 with embarrassing losses to the Jazz and Clippers, and a unavoidable loss to the Celtics. But, if there's any time to stop sulking, it's now. Jeff Green will not be back tonight, but Andre Igoudala will also be out for Philadelphia. Okay, let's do a quick lineup check. Krstic vs. Hawes. That's a push. Brand vs. Ibaka. That's another push. Durant vs. Nocioni. Thunder win. Sefolosha vs. Evan Turner. Another push. Westbrook vs. Holiday. Thunder win. And that's the game for you, folks. The Thunder have the star power to win tonight, and if they come up empty handed, we have to seriously rethink about who we're starting and what kind of shots we're taking. The only way I could see a 76er win would be via a breakout performance from Brand, Turner, or Holiday, or via running us off of the floor with their superior scoring abilities. I don't see either happening, so I'm predicting a solid win for us.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 110, Philadelphia 97
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 Nameless Multipurpose Sports Complex cheering the team on, but I'll be back to write a recap later tonight. Go Thunder!