Philadelphia 76ers (30-30, 13-16 road) vs. OKC Thunder (16-46, 12-20 home)
TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM)
Time: 6:00 CST
Offensive Rating: Thunder: 103.8 (28th), Philadelphia: 106.4 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder: 109.9 (21st), Philadelphia: 105.7 (7th)
Pace: Thunder: 93.7 (8th), Philadelphia: 90.8 (17th)
UPDATE: Thabo is a go, Green is not.
I wonder what Shaun Livingston is doing tonight… think he could come down and chip in 15 or 20 minutes?
Coming off a game last night in New Orleans with only eight healthy bodies, OKC has to turn around and lace ’em up again tonight with Jeff Green and Thabo Sefolosha being question marks. Kevin Durant said recently that he’ll maybe be back against Denver Wednesday, but “definitely back against Phoenix.” Scott Brooks did a really good job of distributing minutes against the Hornets, but with only eight players on a back-to-back, there’s probably going to be some heavy legs.
It’s just going to have to be another one of those hustle and grit efforts to stay in it. Russell Westbrook did a solid job of creating opportunities last night, but his mates didn’t cash in. The biggest issue will be defending the Sixers who have long, skilled guys all over the floor. But they are a below average road team (13-16) and OKC has played well at home in 2009. So don’t count the Thunder out just yet. You might be able to count them out 24 minutes in, but not just yet.
But again, somebody is going to have to step up. Nenad Krstic was off last night going 3-12 with eight points. Damien Wilkins hit some shots early but turned back into Damien Wilkins late. Kyle Weaver was efficient but didn’t score much. Somebody, anybody, is going to have to put the ball in the basket. The first three quarters against NOLA, OKC was moving the ball, cutting hard and getting good looks off three or four passes. In the fourth quarter, the offense stalled and it was one pass and heave. There can’t be any more of that. It’s got to be team basketball on both ends of the floor for 48 minutes.
We can hope Jeff Green or Thabo surprise us with a cameo appearance tonight. Maybe they could wait until about mid-way through the first and then you hear “Give me the Greeeeen…. light” over the speakers and Uncle Jeff comes walking out. Maybe. But that’s pretty unlikely.
Tip at 6:00 CST. Go someone.