Time: 7:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma, KUTP-TV My 45
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1)
Backstory: The games only get more and more important as time goes on.
After dropping two straight to Utah and Denver, the Thunder are now in damage control mode, doing all they can to prevent themselves from falling into the 8th seed. This is not easy task, as they're facing the Suns, who have an ambition of their own: trying to secure the 2nd seed. Not to mention the fact that the Thunder are playing their 5th game in 7 days. As if that wasn't enough pressure, the Suns are 12-2 over their last 14 games heading into this game, making them a tough opponent to beat.
When I talked to Coach Brooks on Friday, he talked about how versatile Amare Stoudamire was on offense, because he scores with mid-range jumpers, with his back to the basket, and by jumping above the rim. He also talked about how great of a point guard Steve Nash is. He mentioned that Steve Nash always has two passes in his mind at once, and if one pass doesn't look like it'll work, he'll default to the next one. He also admitted that Nash's great play may be helping Goran Dragic off the bench.
Personally, I think this game will come down to rebounding. In the Thunder's recent loss, they lost the rebounding battle to the Suns by 10 rebounds. In the Thunder's win back in December, they out-rebounded the Suns by 10 rebounds. Normally it's a silly thing to say, but in a game like this, second chance points can mean the difference between playing the Lakers and playing somebody else. In the end, I think the Thunder will get it done. They have to get it done.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 106, Phoenix 105