Howdy, y’all! I can’t believe there are only two and a half months left in this DECADE. Crazy. Since joining the Welcome to Loud City family on June 2013, things have changed.
Many players have come and gone: Kevin Durant left (yes, fans are still bitter about that one) and most recently Russell Westbrook left for 2-hour traffic jams in Houston (which I am not jealous of one bit.)
But there’s one thing that’s stayed the same around these parts - I’m talking about myself.
For those that do know me (or don’t), my name is Sarah Dewberry. I am an Okie (not from Muskogee) and was raised watching sports on my daddy’s knee. My dad and I watched the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls dominate the NBA for most of my childhood (not complaining) and when the Oklahoma City Thunder came into existence, I knew I had to get involved somehow and that’s how I got into contact with SB Nation and came to work for WTLC in 2013.
Now, I haven’t written for WTLC for quite some time, but I’ll be more active this year and can’t wait to see where this season takes us!
Now, that that’s out of the way, we can get down to business.
For a team without main force Westbrook, the Thunder shouldn’t be too upset with their 5-point loss. They shot 37 percent from behind the 3-point arc, stole the ball five times, made 67 percent of their free throws and only committed 23 personal fouls.
As they carry themselves into Friday’s game, they will no longer have first-game jitters and will be able to bring some good, positive energy into the home opener - even if Steven Adams scored three points in the first game of the season.
Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the team with 26 points, so see him being the leader of the team has he settles into his role as a guard this season.
Now the Wizards are also coming off a loss - losing 108-100 to the Dallas Mavericks in their first game of the 2019-20 season. So they, too, will be looking to not start 0-2.
The Wizards made 83 percent of their free throws against the Mavericks, so the Thunder will need to be sure to not allow Washington to get behind the free-throw line if they want to come out winners at Chesapeake Friday night.
The Thunder will need to be on the lookout of Bradley Beal, who led the Wizards with 19 points against Dallas. Beal, who was the third-overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, got ejected in the loss, and if Thunder fans know how to get under a player’s skin, they’ll be able to ruffle some feathers if need be.
In all, the Thunder are a brand new team, with new faces, but by the looks of their first game together this season, they sure know how to work in harmony - without any superstars getting in the way this time.
You can watch the game on Fox Sports Oklahoma or tune into 98.1FM on the radio in Oklahoma City and 97.1FM in Tulsa. Game tips off at 7 p.m.