This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.
Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (34-18) vs. The Golden State Warriors (23-29)
Time: 7:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Comcast Sports Net Bay Area, Entertainment Sports Programming Network
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), KNBR 680
Enemy Blog(s): Golden State Of Mind, WarriorsWorld.net
Previous Meeting(s): Dec. 6th
The Thunder's West Coast road trip continues as they take the two hour bus ride from Sacramento into the Bay Area, where they'll take on the Golden State Warriors for the second time this season. The last time these two teams met, the game was marked by the Warriors not doing anything in the first half, and then making a furious comeback in the second half.
Should we expect more of the same tonight? Absolutely. The only consistent trait when it comes to Keith Smart's team is inconsistency. One night, they'll destroy the Bulls, and the next, they'll be getting destroyed about the Suns. At certain times, the team plays like they could beat the Spurs, but at other times, they play like they could be beaten by Chaminade. It just depends on who's playing and whether their players decide to show up on any given night.
The Warriors will be without the near-irrelevant Acie Law tonight, as he has sprained his right wrist. In order to win, the Thunder will have to play good defense on guards to can score well, and they will need to focus on shutting down Monta Ellis. The Warriors will rely a lot on whomever has the hot hand on a certain night, but they rely on Monta every single night, so if you can slow him down, the whole team will slow down with him.
The Thunder will also need to work on controlling the pace. They did an alright job of that last night (their close game was mostly due to inability to score and stupid mistakes), so that shouldn't be a problem. It's also important to keep in mind that visiting the Warriors at home is like visiting a dictator in his own country. Outside of the country you can laugh at him and call him weak, but inside his borders he becomes one of the most terrifying men you've ever seen. In other words: Watch out for huge runs.
Prediction: Oklahoma City 101, Golden State 95
Personal Note: Go Warriors! Absolutely love to see my two favourite teams in action.