OKC ThunderDome

Beyond…Waaaay Beyond…

Game 35 Preview: Thunder at Spurs

Tipoff at 8:30PM EST

Game Preview

Previous Game

Key Players

Manu Ginobili – 19.0 ppg, 4.8 apg
Tony Parker – 17.8 ppg, 7.0 apg
Tim Duncan – 13.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg

Can the Thunder reverse their fortunes against the best team in the NBA?

Tonight the Thunder get their rematch from a game 9 loss to the Spurs.  Here is what we’ve learned since then:

Spurs

  • They are adapting to life without a fully operational Tim Duncan quite nicely.  He has put up several games that won’t make it into his career highlight film.  And yet, the Spurs seem more dominant than ever. 
  • What is doubly surprising is that the Spurs are a notoriously slow starting team.  Perhaps they are going harder early in the season because of so many new parts, but the net result is a team that is dominating most everyone.
  • Coach Popovich remains one of the best tacticians in the league.  His halftime adjustments against the Thunder in game 1 turned a competitive game into a rout.

Thunder

  • They suffered from some off-season malaise and overconfidence that appears to have abated.
  • Westbrook has been better than advertised, and Durant is no flash in the pan.
  • The Thunder bench is rounding out to be one of the best in the NBA.  Their performance will be key against a Spurs team that has such assets as DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal sitting on their bench.

Tonight’s game will ultimately be another measuring stick for the Thunder.  I honestly don’t expect them to win, but I want to see how hard they compete (especially on the 2nd night of a double-header) against the league’s best.  They are still searching for that “signature” win this season.  Hey, it’s a new year.  We can hope, right???

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