|2012-2013 NBA Season|
|February 10th, 2013|
|The US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona|
|7:00 PM CST|
|Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, Fox Sports Network Arizona|
|WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1), KTAR 620 AM|
|Enemy Blogs: Bright Side Of The Sun, Valley of the Suns, Sun n' Gun|
|Previous Meetings: Jan 1st, Jan 14th, Feb 8th (Thunder Lead Season Series 3-0)|
|Injury Report: Jeremy Lamb (Day to Day), Channing Frye (Out)|
|Russell Westbrook||PG||Goran Dragic|
|Thabo Sefolosha||SG||Jared Dudley|
|Kevin Durant||SF||P.J. Tucker|
|Serge Ibaka||PF||Luis Scola|
|Kendrick Perkins||C||Marcin Gortat|
The Thunder are on the verge of completing the first four game sweep of the season. A four game sweep, even of the worst team in the West, isn't to be taken lightly. It's something that can separate the elite teams from the very good ones, and it's definitely a test of meddle.
Even though the Thunder are basically coming off of three creamings of the Suns, I wouldn't put it past them to put up a good performance tonight. The Suns lost badly last Friday because the team went offensively kaput in the third quarter, Kendrick Perkins totally dominated Marcin Gortat, and Thabo Sefolosha shot crazily well. I wouldn't count on any of those things repeating themselves.
The Suns have proven they can compete with the Thunder on several levels. Jermaine O'Neal generally succeeds against Hasheem Thabeet, and has been productive in the two matchups he's played against OKC. Goran Dragic is nearly always productive, and can burn Westbrook with his quickness. Michael Beasley's seen some success as well, namely against the Thunder's second unit.
The rest of the team, admittedly, is a crapshoot. But if the Suns are to succeed anywhere, it has to start with the post. O'Neal, Dragic, and Scola are a mean combination, and if all of those guys can't at least score in the high single digits, than nobody can win. Once they get the Thunder's defense to start congregating in the paint, then it'll open up opportunities for guys like Dudley, Tucker, and Brown. Also, either Dragic or Beasley will have to step up and be an X-Factor, because if the Suns have no offensive rock, they're going nowhere.
Still, having seen the Suns fall to the Thunder so many times, I just have a really hard time seeing them winning. For every positive that I've mentioned about the team, I can belt out three more negative things about them. So I'm predicting a relatively easy Thunder victory tonight, but I'm willing to bet Durant and Westbrook will have to make an appearance in the fourth quarter.
Oh yeah, I hope the Suns wear their 90s uniforms tonight. BECAUSE THEY'RE LEGIT!
Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 111, Phoenix Suns 105.
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