OKC ThunderDome

Beyond…Waaaay Beyond…

Game 28 Preview: Suns at Thunder

Tipoff: 7:00PM EST

Game preview

Key Players:

Steve Nash – 17.5 ppg, 10.2 apg

Grant Hill – 14.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Channing Frye – 11.2 ppg, 6.2 prg

Injuries:

Steve Nash – DTD
Mickael Pietrus – DTD
Nedad Krstic – DTD 

Tonight the Thunder face a Suns team that is in the midst of a complete overhaul, and with the addition of new faces, I do wonder whether they’re punting on the season with the lockout looming.  Their recent trade move, shipping Jason Richardson, Earl Clark, and Hedo Turkoglu out to the Magic in exchange for Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat, doesn’t do much for them talent-wise, but does clear Hedo off the books for future moves.  I don’t think any of the new three will be active tonight, and with Nash day to day after suffering a neck stinger, they will be heavily short-handed.

In order for the Thunder to have a good effort tonight, the strategy should once again be about their bench play.  I’d also like to see them get a quick start on the Suns.  Phoenix is currently the #1 scoring team in the country, and more than the individual parts they possess, scoring is a mentality that they apply.  They’ll still be looking to run and gun, and if the Thunder aren’t careful they could jump out early.

Keys for tonight:

  • Patience on offense; Westbrook has done a wonderful job slowing things down the last few games.
  • Defensive rebounding.  The Suns are not a good rebounding team, so rebounding focus should allow the Thunder to get out on some breaks.
  • Even minute distribution.  Let’s see the trio of Green, Harden, and Maynor get involved early.

I’ll have a few more thoughts on the Suns post-game.  For now, hopefully the Thunder will not be looking past the Suns tonight, and will put forth the kind of steady effort they also applied to the last two wins.

 

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