Records: The Charlotte Bobcats (5-33) at The Oklahoma City Thunder (31-9)
Time: 7:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1), ESPN 103.3 KESN-FM
Enemy Blog(s): Rufus on Fire, Queen City Hoops
Previous Results: None. Last Season: Dec. 21, March 18 (Thunder won series 2-0)
The Thunder take on the Bobcats tonight one evening after a very poor evening of play in their home stadium. The loss to the Cavaliers last night ended the Thunder's 14 game home winning streak and there is no better time than the present to start a new one.
The Bobcats enter tonight likely hoping this season will end so that they can acquire some more talent. They are in the bottom third of the league in every meaningful category and they should not be able to be competitive against the West-leading Thunder. However, tonight should be more about what the Thunder should be doing to win games than anything else.
Last night, the Thunder did a lot of things that losing teams do - they gave up a large number of offensive rebounds, they were careless with the ball, they did not communicate on defense, and they had no observable offensive game plan to exploit the Cavs' weaknesses. The Bobcats have many weaknesses, so it would be nice to see the Thunder try to exploit some of them.
Really what tonight's game is about is the Thunder imposing their style of play on their opponent rather than the other way around. Earlier this season we watched the Thunder do this successfully against teams like the Knicks, Celtics, and Pistons, but they have not played that way since the All-Star break. Everything they did wrong last night is correctable, but corrected things must be.
It begins tonight.
Prediction: Thunder 99, Bobcats 85