Sacramento Kings (0-0) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (0-0)
View from the enemy: Cowbell Kingdom
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (29th), Sacramento – 105.5 (25th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 109.4 (20th), Sacramento – 114.7 (30th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.6 (8th), Sacramento – 94.2 (7th)
And. Here. We. Go. (waves hand)
Basketball! Basketball! Basketbawwwwwwl!!!! We’ve waited six months for this night. We feel good about our squad and there is a good chance to start out 1-0. A less than awesome Sacto Kings team comes to town and if this Thunder team is going to improve the way we think it is, a win should happen this evening.
Now, I don’t want to be this guy that’s placing too much importance on a season opener and calling it must-win or anything like that. Over-quantifying a single game is a sports pet peeve of mine. I’m not into that. If I was, I would become a baseball writer so that I could rule the Yankees out every May, especially after a loss to the Red Sox, just to watch them come back and win 97 games and the division. Then I’d act like I saw that happening all along and forget about my dumb bold statement.
But at the same time, a loss would be somewhat deflating. It was be against a team the Thunder SHOULD beat, at HOME, in a game everybody is stoked for. It would be more of a bummer than the egg this team layed opening night last year against the Bucks.
TWO KEY MATCHUPS
Tyreke Evans vs. Russell Westbrook
Holy hybrid super athletes Batman. I know it’s Kings/Thunder, two of the worst teams in the league last year, but this game should be on national television just for this matchup. Two guys possibly playing out of position with insane ability, playing AGAINST each other. I know where I’m looking all night. I give the edge to Westbrook though because he’s a quality defender and has had a year in the league. This is Evans first game of his pro career and he’s playing it on the road against a solid defender.
Desmond Mason vs. Kevin Durant
Nobody knows how to defend KD better than Dez. And nobody should know Durant’s defensive capabilities better than Dez either, considering he taught him basically everything he knew. Durant obviously wins this matchup because, well, he’s going to win most every matchup. But Dez is going to be his usual bulldog self for sure.
The slate is clean and an opportunity is there for the taking to get to 1-0. The Hornets kicked off season one in OKC against the Kings, blew them out, and flirted with the playoffs. So this could be a good sign, right? RIGHT? Well that is if the Thunder can win tonight. And so it begins gang. Thunder in the direction above you.
Tip at 7:00. Go season.
(Also, I’ll be taking part in the Daily Dime’s Live Chat tonight at the mothership. It’ll be a big group discussion and you’re welcome to pop by if you’d like.)