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Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers: 2010-2011 Game 76 Preview; Kinda Still Chasing the Mavericks

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This also counts as an open thread, so feel free to post your thoughts during the game here.

Records: The Oklahoma City Thunder (50-25) vs. The Los Angeles Clippers (29-47)

Time: 9:30 PM Central Standard Time

Place: The Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

TV: Fox Sports Net Oklahoma, Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket

Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), KSPN 710 ESPN

Enemy Blog(s): Clips Nation, ClipperBlog

Previous Meeting(s): Nov. 3rd, Feb. 22nd (Season Series Tied 1-1)

The Los Angeles Clippers are much better than their record indicated. While they're not gangbusters who got amazing after the All-Star break, they have gone 8-7 since March 1st, and they have recently defeated Boston and Denver. After trading away Baron Davis and relying instead on Cleveland castaway Mo Williams, the Clippers have become much more offensively efficient, as Williams is a much better scorer. In addition to Williams, the Clippers also rely heavily on Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, both of whom are some of the best scorers in the NBA in the paint and beyond the arc, respectively. Aside from those three, the Clippers are mainly an odd collection of role players, all capable of achieving past or never found glory at different times.

The Thunder experienced a terrible early-season loss to the Clippers, which was one of only three wins the Clippers had in November. Later on, in February, the Thunder absolutely destroyed the Clippers at home, before they had started playing well with any sort of regularity. The large problem with the early season loss was lack of scoring from the guards and lack of defense from the big men though, so that shouldn't be a problem this time around.

Though I'd normally predict a easy win here, the Thunder are coming off of a demoralizing loss, on the second end of a back to back, and are on the road. So while a win here shouldn't be too difficult, I don't think the Thunder will be able to run away with this one. The Thunder still have the possibility of catching the Mavericks, so there is a minor incentive to win. Remember to cheer on the Warriors tonight!

Prediction: Oklahoma City 107, Los Angeles Clippers 100