OKC Thunder (33-22, 17-11 road) at. San Antonio Spurs (31-23, 19-10 home)
TV: KSBI Thunder TV (Cox 15, HD 715)
Stream: Click here
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 97.1 FM Tulsa)
Time: 7:30 CST
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 106.3 (17th), Spurs – 109.3 (7th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (3rd), Spurs – 104.8 (11th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.6 (16th), Spurs – 91.4 (24th)
View from the enemy: 48 Minutes of Hell
So what happens after you lose? Do you play again? Do you have to go home for the rest of the season? It’s just been so long since it happened that I’ve forgotten. It’s funny though thinking about it. Last year, it was a strange feeling if we won. Now, it’s getting odd if we lose. I think I like it better this way.
I can’t be the only one though that gets nervous after losses, especially when Oklahoma City has to turn around and play another tough team the next night. It’s like I have this ongoing fear that every loss is going to be the beginning to a miserable slide that ends up putting a damper on this excellent season. Like I said, I’m just not really all that used to this winning thing.
As for tonight: OKC is 13-8 when coming off a loss. So that’s good news. Tony Parker is questionable. I suppose that’s good news, but we thought Steve Nash being out would be good so who knows. The bad news is that this is the dreaded fourth game in five days for the Thunder. So heavy legs along with heavy hearts from the night before are going to be tough to shake.
San Antonio coming in: While the Thunder will be tired, the Spurs should be rested. They last played on Sunday, losing to Detroit in the last game of an eight-game road trip. So this is their first trip home since being away for eight. San Antonio is 5-5 in its last 10 and 19-10 at home.
Tony Parker is questionable, but much like Goran Dragic, George Hill is a more than capable backup. He’s extremely athletic, a savvy defender and can hit the 3. Russell Westbrook will certainly have his hands full on both ends of the floor, no matter who is starting at point for the Spurs. Kevin Durant has a clear advantage over Richard Jefferson at the three. Jefferson just has not been himself this year in any way. But with KD surely being tired both mentally and physically, you’ve got to wonder a little about him tonight.
But without Parker, the Spurs have been playing three guards with Roger Mason, Hill and Keith Bogans. So it’s possible Jefferson will check Jeff Green if San Antonio hangs with that lineup. Bogans is a worthy defender that will likely guard Durant if Jefferson doesn’t.
Of course there’s Tim Duncan inside, who OKC really has no answer for. DeJuan Blair grabbed 20 boards at the Ford Center the last time these two teams played and it’s likely Duncan could do the same. The main advantage the Thunder have on him is speed and quickness. Don’t be surprised if OKC runs a little more tonight. Finally, Manu Ginobili comes off the bench with Blair and Antonio McDyess to give San Antonio an excellent second unit. However, in two games against the Thunder, Ginobili is 0-18 from the floor and 0-8 from 3. So expect him to explode for 40 tonight.
It’s a big rebound game against a tough opponent on the road. Not ideal, but this Thunder team typically plays well in these types of games. It was a bummer to lose the streak and while there’s a chance to start one in the opposite way tonight, there’s also a good chance to get right back on track. It’s a big game in terms of playoff seeding and also tie-break terms. Not the end of the world to lose, but it sure would be nice to win.
Tip at 7:30 CST. Go Okay See.