clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: Thunder and Spurs hook up for pre-playoff party

New, comments

Kick back and watch the youngsters.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Slammin'!
Slammin'!
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder and Spurs head into tonight's game with absolutely nothing at stake. For the Thunder, it will be their last game of the regular season. The Spurs will have one more game after this, on Wednesday at home against the Mavericks.

It's likely that this game will be a complete farce. The Spurs intentionally tanked their March 18th game against Oklahoma City, resting four of their starters. It was the second night of a back to back, and the Spurs could afford to take the loss in the standings. Tonight's game might have had meaning if the Spurs home game win streak will still going strong. The Spurs had won 39 straight regular season games at home. But the Warriors snapped that streak against a full Spurs squad on April 10th.

But even though the Spurs are rested and at home, I wouldn't expect them to play their big names. Popovich took off both games of an end of season back to back during the 2010-11 NBA season. Furthermore, Popovich took off the last games of the 06-07 campaign as well. Both of those situations came about after the Spurs had a very successful regular season.

But the Spur bench is still of much higher quality than the Thunder bench. Without Durant and Westbrook, OKC turns into a team of specialists. Furthermore, Billy Donovan is dead set on having a bench backcourt of Waiters and Foye, with small doses of Payne. This can lead to some stagnant ball movement, and perhaps too many outside jumpers. Nevertheless, today should be a good time for the bench to continue learning how to play each other.

Anyway, what I'm going to remember most about this game is how good it is to be a Thunder fan right now. Last year KD was having major injury problems, and OKC was narrowly squeezed out of a tight West playoff race. No one seemed to know if the team would be able to return to the top. But thus far, it looks like we're in for some classic playoff battles this spring. The Thunder aren't the favorites to win the title, but this should be the best shot they've had since 2012.

Prediction: San Antonio Spurs 98, Oklahoma City Thunder 95.

What do you think of tonight's game? Drop a comment and let us know!

2015-16 NBA Season Game 82
@
55-26
(Won 1)

65-15
(Lost 3)
April 12th, 2016
The American Telephone and Telegraph Center, San Antonio, Texas
7:00 PM Central Daylight Time
TV: Turner Network Television, Fox Sports Network Oklahoma
Injury Report: Everyone's healthy, but who's resting?
This Season's Matchups: Oct 28 (W 112-106), March 12 (L 93-85 ), March 25 (W 111-92)
Probable Starters
Randy Foye PG Andre Miller
Dion Waiters SG Kyle Anderson
Kyle Singler SF Jonathon Simmons
Nick Collison PF David West
Steven Adams C Boban Marjanovic

***

From Sherman - We at WTLC have had the opportunity to partner with the wonderful start-up company Fanvana in the past and have a great relationship with its founder and die-hard NBA fan, Swetha Prabhakar.  We both want to remind you that supporting the Thunder from afar has never been easier or more inclusive. Fanvana helps connect sports fans together based on where they are and what they love. Check out the Fanvana free app on iOS or Android to discover other Thunder fans and join the live chatter for tonight’s game. You can even follow WTLC’s tweet stream directly on Fanvana as the game unfolds!