With the possibility of facing the defending champion Lakers becoming an undeniable reality (especially after Sunday night's squandering of a 20 point lead against lowly Golden State), the Thunder were given a brief moment of good news heading into their pivotal matchup with the Blazers tonight in Portland. According to cbssports.com, Blazers superstar Brandon Roy will be sidelined with a knee contusion tonight, leaving Portland with a serious void in the category of consistent perimeter scoring. While I would hesitate to say that Roy is the factor that Kevin Durant is for the Thunder, his impact on the Trailblazers is certainly comprable, as their offense often times finds itself stagnant when he isn't on the floor. Simply put: Imagine Oklahoma City playing a game of this magnitude with KD sidelined. I'm a believer in our supporting cast, but in a playoff atmosphere like this, I think we'd probably end up scoring in the high 70's or low 80's were that the case. If the Thunder crack down defensively tonight, with Thabo Seflosha likely guarding inconsistent wings like Martell Webster as opposed to Roy, they should be able to (knock on wood) put themselves in a good position to avoid a first round series hosted in the Staples Center.
If not, they probably deserve the Lakers in round 1.