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Blog Buddy: Welcome To Loud City
OK, I guess Groundhog Day was five days ago, but we could easily call this preview "Deja Vu All Over Again?" Let's hope not. Last time OKC came into town, just twelve days ago, they shellacked the Dubs, 120-109. Kevin Durant had 37-and-14, Russell Westbrook 28 pts 11 ast, Serge Ibaka 20-and-12, and the Warriors were outrebounded 61-40.
Andris Biedrins played for 9 minutes to start the game and then sat on the bench the rest of the way, with Mark Jackson citing that the Thunder didn't have a bonafide post player for AB to guard.
The Thunder currently have the best record in the NBA. It has been a reasonable prediction that they could end up with the NBA's best record for quite some time now. The basketball gods are on their sides, with last night's goaltending snafu by the refs on a Durant layup, directly contributing to another win.
Sure, they're coming into town on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, the night after an overtime game, but the Thunder have swept four of six back-to-backs (not counting 2nd-game-away back-to-backs, though), and one of those was a sweep of a three-game set. They're young, on a high, and hitting their stride.
Of course, their NBA media notes uses the phrase "Road Warriors" without any regard to whom they're playing tonight. I ought to put that up as a poll someday: Would the term "warriors" be used so loosely if the Golden State Warriors were known as perennial championship contenders? I wonder how long we'll have to wait to find out.
And how about James Harden? He's a lock for the Sixth Man Award. Here's the quote from the media notes...
Harden has come off the bench in 22 of 24 games this season for Oklahoma City and in all but two instances he has proceeded to score in double figures (including seven 20point efforts in which the team is 61). Harden’s 16.7 point per game average is currently tops in the NBA among reserves (min. 15 games).
The last OKC-GSW matchup seemed to dispel previous numbers showing that Westbrook has struggled against Stephen Curry (24.5 ppg, .561 fgp vs OKC). But also, how will Nate Robinson (strained groin, day-to-day) play against his former teammates? Will Dominic McGuire add some spark on the boards, assuming he gets some minutes? Btw, Monta Ellis is 14 for his last 47 field goal attempts.
This one's gonna be rough. And yet, most times when I say that, the Dubs bring something else to the table I didn't think of.