Category Archives: Game Previews

Pre-game post

Celtics vs. Thunder preview (Game 8 of 82)

celtics vs. okc logo

  • When: Friday, 03 November 2017 at 8:30 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: ESPN/FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -6.5 | O/U – 205.5

Seven games in and the Oklahoma City Thunder are still looking for that statement victory. They beat the Knicks, Pacers, and Bulls pretty handily, like they were supposed to. And for as good as Giannis Antetokounmpo has been, the Bucks are still an inconsistent, middle of the conference team in the East. The three games against sturdier competition have resulted in losses.

So the Thunder still find themselves in search of that one signature win. As they continue figuring out the puzzle pieces that is their revamped team, the pendulum seems to be swinging towards the direction of them getting this thing figured out. Each player now has a role of what role they play on this team. Will that change as the season progresses? Probably. But the most important part of knowing what to do, how to do it, and when to do it seems to no longer be puzzling the Thunder players. And that is a scary thought for the rest of the league.  Continue reading Celtics vs. Thunder preview (Game 8 of 82)

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Thunder @ Bucks preview (Game 7 of 82)

okc logo @ bucks

  • When: Tuesday, 31 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
  • TV: NBATV/FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -1.5 | O/U – 212.5

Consistency is something the Oklahoma City Thunder have been lacking this season. Play one great game and follow it up with a subpar game. And while a lot of that may have to do with the opponent (all the losses have come against teams that will likely be in the playoffs), the Thunder have got to start winning those games.

Tonight is no different. After obliterating the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, the Thunder face one of the up and coming teams in the East in the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing like a bonafide MVP candidate and the rest of the team is playing well in their roles.  Continue reading Thunder @ Bucks preview (Game 7 of 82)

Thunder vs. Wolves preview (Game 5 of 82)

twolves vs. okc logo

  • When: Friday, 27 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • TV: NBATV/FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -1.5 | O/U – 218

A lot has been made about the Big 3 in Oklahoma City. And deservedly so. Anytime you combine a current MVP with two prolific wing scorers, it’s bound to draw a lot of attention. The results after four games can be summed up in three words: Work In Progress.

But lost in all the attention the Big 3 are garnering has been the play of fifth year center, Steven Adams. Four games in, Adams is averaging 13.8 points, 8.5 rebounds (5 on the offensive end!!!!), 2 steals, and 1.75 blocks per game. He’s starting to “call his own number” when he spots a mismatch on offense, and is anchoring a defense that ranks 5th in the league in defensive rating. If those defensive numbers continue, Adams may be in contention for defensive player of the year, a la Marc Gasol in 2013.  Continue reading Thunder vs. Wolves preview (Game 5 of 82)

Pacers vs. Thunder preview (Game 4 of 82)

pacersvs. okc logo

  • When: Wednesday, 25 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -14.5 | O/U – 218

I’ve never been a huge fan of moral victories. It feels like a gateway to developing a losing mentality. The great, “Oh, we lost, but…” A team says that enough times and failure becomes an acceptable habit. “Missed it by this much” becomes the norm.

Sunday’s loss felt different, though. Yes, it was definitely a moral victory, which means it was a loss. But it felt like the team discovered something about itself in that fourth quarter (almost) comeback. Russell Westbrook, who has had to adjust on the fly to having two scoring wings next to him, reverted back to what felt natural to him. And it worked. Shots fell. The team got stops. And what started as a 13-point deficit heading into the quarter turned into a one point lead with 5 seconds left. Of course, we all know what transpired after that as Andrew Wiggins and the three referees made sure Minnesota came out of that game with a victory (shouts out to you, Last 2-Minutes report).  Continue reading Pacers vs. Thunder preview (Game 4 of 82)

Timberwolves vs. Thunder preview (Game 3 of 82)

twolves vs. okc logo

  • When: Sunday, 22 October 2017 at 6:00 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -4.0 | O/U – 210.5

Six points? Six points for current MVP, Russell Westbrook. Much of the credit needs to go to the Utah defense, who executed a great defensive game plan. But it didn’t much seem like Westbrook was trying to attack the defense, either. He almost looked like he was settling. And the words Westbrook and settling don’t necessarily go together in a sentence.

Westbrook is known for his attacking nature and his ‘never say die’ style of play. But last night, he seemed almost content with passing the ball to Carmelo Anthony and Paul George and letting them shoot the Oklahoma City Thunder out of the rut they were in. The Westbrook from last season would have looked at the Westbrook from last night and wondered ‘what the hell are you doing?’.  Continue reading Timberwolves vs. Thunder preview (Game 3 of 82)

Thunder vs. Jazz preview (Game 2 of 82)

utah jazz vs. okc logo

  • When: Saturday, 21 October 2017 at 8:00 pm CST
  • Where: Vivent Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -4.5 | O/U – 200

There was a point in the Thunder vs. Knicks game with around four minutes left in the 2nd quarter where the score was tied at 40. You could tell there was a nervousness in the arena, wondering if this Big 3 experiment was going to work. Then, the Thunder finally woke up and went on a 22-6 run that essentially put the game away.

It was eye-opening because there are going to be a lot of nights like this for the Thunder. The Knicks are not a top-tier team at all and will likely have one of the worst defenses in the league this season. But seeing the team turn it on and nitrous boost their way past the Knicks in an 8 minutes span was positive in many ways.  Continue reading Thunder vs. Jazz preview (Game 2 of 82)

Knicks vs. Thunder Primer (Game 1 of 82)

knicks logo vs. okc logo

  • When: Thursday, 19 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -12.0 | O/U – 215

Ten years strong and we’ve almost seen it all. We’ve seen two MVP’s. We’ve seen one Coach of the Year. We’ve seen one 6th Man of the Year. We’ve seen four Western Conference championship appearances. We’ve seen one NBA Finals appearance. We’ve seen injuries derail promising seasons. We’ve seen front office moves that have left us cheering and ones that have left us confuzzled (confused and puzzled). We’ve seen players we love traded. And we’ve seen players who were once heroes to us turn into absolute villains.  Continue reading Knicks vs. Thunder Primer (Game 1 of 82)

Thunder vs. Nuggets Primer (Preseason Game 4)

nuggs vs. okc logo

  • When: Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 8:00 pm CST
  • Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))

It’s been kind of a mixed bag when the Big 3 are out there on the court for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the first three games of the preseason, they have been on the court together for only 20 minutes. They have been joined in large part by Andre Roberson and Steven Adams, but have also seen time with Jerami Grant and Terrance Ferguson. Here are a couple findings via NBAWowy:

  • In that time frame, they’ve scored 22 points to their opponent’s 17 points.
  • They were 7/9 from inside the arc, but only 1/5 beyond the arc.
  • Out of the Big 3, George performed the worst, shooting just 1/4 from the field.
  • In their time together, Westbrook was the only one of the Big 3 to make an attempt at the rim. George and Anthony took all their shots from the perimeter (16+ feet out) when the Big 3 were together.
  • Adams and Roberson benefited from the attention being paid to the Big 3, going 3/3 from the field in their attempts.
  • Their time together led to 8 free throw attempts.

Continue reading Thunder vs. Nuggets Primer (Preseason Game 4)

Melbourne United vs. Thunder primer (Preseason Game 3)

Melbourne_United_Web_Logo vs. okc logo

  • When: Sunday, 08 October 2017 at 2:00 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Podcast Preview: Skip over to 56:50 to listen to the preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder have played differing styles in their first two preseason games. In their first game, they played against a perimeter-oriented Houston Rockets team that launched 55 three-pointers against them. In their second game, they played against a New Orleans Pelicans team that featured two of the best post players in the league in DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.

Now they are playing a team that isn’t even in the NBA. Talk about running the gamut in terms of playing styles. It’s a good thing for the Thunder to be playing so many different styles. With much of their roster turning over this offseason, the Thunder need to face as many different situations as possible to get acclimated to life in the NBA. Playing a team that competes in an entirely different league (not to mention country) certainly fits that bill.  Continue reading Melbourne United vs. Thunder primer (Preseason Game 3)

Pelicans vs. Thunder Primer (Preseason Game 2)

pelicansvs. okc logo

  • When: Friday, 06 October 2017 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: okcthunder.com or the OKC Thunder app (stream)
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))

One preseason game down. Oklahoma City Thunder fans finally got to see what Paul George and Carmelo Anthony will look like in Thunder uniforms. It didn’t always flow smoothly, but the set-up for something bigger was there. The two of the Big 3 who played put their vast array of skills on display. George showed his overall ability (offense and defense) and Anthony showed his shot-making ability.

Were there hiccups? Of course. George and Anthony overpassed a little, leading to a couple turnovers. In addition, they seemed a little lost on how to use Steven Adams. The chemistry developed between Russell Westbrook and Adams took about two seasons to actually produce fruit. It would be foolish to think the new players on the team would have immediate chemistry with the old players on the team. Continue reading Pelicans vs. Thunder Primer (Preseason Game 2)