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2012-2013 Pre-Season Game 3 Preview: Thunder Open Up the Peake Against the Bobcats

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The first home game is finally upon us! It's a pre-season game against the team that holds the record for being the worst in NBA history, but who cares?!

Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

2012/2013 NBA Preseason
Charlotte Bobcats (1-2)
Oklahoma City Thunder (0-2)
October 16, 2012
The Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
7:00 PM CDT
WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1)
Enemy Blogs: Rufus on Fire, Queen City Hoops
Previous Meetings: March 10
Probable Starters
Russell Westbrook PG Ramon Sessions
DeAndre Liggins SG Ben Gordon
Kevin Durant SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Serge Ibaka PF Bismack Biyombo
Cole Aldrich C Brendan Haywood

The first home game is finally upon us! It's a pre-season game against the team that holds the record for being the worst in NBA history, but who cares?!

Okay, so you know the routine by now. We're still looking into our backup point guard and big man situations. In case you've missed the status updates so far, here's all you need to know. In the big men category, Hasheem Thabeet looks mediocre and unrefined, Cole Aldrich is showing promise but has struggled in certain areas, and Perry Jones III plays around the perimeter and can score well. In the point guard category, both Eric Maynor and Reggie Jackson have made strong cases for the backup spot, but Maynor looks more like a distributor, while Jackson looks more like a scorer.

Aside from those position battles, Collison has looked relatively weak in his first few games, bricking more than a couple jumpers on Friday and struggling to do much of anything last Wednesday. Small injuries have bugged the Thunder as well, with Kendrick Perkins out for the entire pre-season and Sefolosha and Harden both sitting out tonight. DeAndre Liggins proved to be a pleasant surprise during the Thunder's first game, but he was totally absent during Friday's game, and it's unknown if he'll play tonight. Daniel Orton is guaranteed to get minutes tonight, and it will be interesting to see how he does when compared to Thabeet and Aldrich.

The Bobcats are still struggling to recuperate from their season which featured the lowest of lows, but there is hope for them. They'll be playing #2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who was a hot commodity on the draft day trade market. They've also had some interesting off-season acquisitions, as we'll be seeing Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions, and Brandon Haywood try to mix in with the young Bobcats team. Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the return of B.J. Mullens, who was drafted by the Thunder, but hardly played. The Bobcats are thinking about starting him at power forward. No joke.

Anyway, tonight should be a nice chance for Thunder fans to catch up with their team and see some of the new arena improvements first hand. Unfortunately, the game won't be on TV, but if you live in the metro tickets are still available. That's about the only time you'll hear me say that this season!

Prediction: OKC Thunder 95, Charlotte Bobcats 87