Category Archives: Game Previews

Pre-game post

First Round Preview: Thunder vs. Trailblazers

thunder blazers

What have you done for me lately? If you are the Oklahoma City Thunder, you should go confidently into your first round match-up with the Portland Trailblazers. The Thunder just finished a regular season in which they swept the season series against division rival Portland, 4-0. But just as the slogan says about the postseason: it’s a new season.

The Portland team the Thunder will face in the playoffs will not be the same Portland team they faced in the regular season. The season-ending injury to Jusuf Nurkic late in the season wipes away a source of familiarity the Thunder are used to seeing from Portland. The entire dynamic of this series changed the minute Nurkic went down in the 73rd game of the season. Logic would have you think this benefits Oklahoma City. But in a weird way, that dynamic may be slanted more towards Portland.

The Thunder swept the season series against Portland in part because they matched up so well with them. Russell Westbrook can play Damian Lillard to, at worst, a draw. CJ McCollum has a bit of a feast or famine thing going when he faces the Thunder. And Nurkic is one of the few centers in the league that plays similar to Steven Adams. Continue reading First Round Preview: Thunder vs. Trailblazers

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Thunder @ Nets Preview (Game 23 of 82)

okc logo at bkn nets

  • When: Wednesday, 05 December 2018 at 6:30 pm CST
  • Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -6.5 | O/U: 220.5
  • Off Rating: OKC – 107.9 (17th) | BKN – 108.2 (14th)
  • Def Rating: OKC – 100.5 (1st) | BKN – 110.2 (21st)

Having an identity is so important to succeeding in the NBA. When the game gets close and the time starts running out, the identity of the team is what usually leads them to victory. The Oklahoma City Thunder have been without an identity since Kevin Durant decided to pack his bags and head to Oakland two summers ago. Continue reading Thunder @ Nets Preview (Game 23 of 82)

Thunder @ Pistons Preview (Game 22 of 82)

okc logo at Pistons_logo_new

  • When: Monday, 03 December 2018 at 6:00 pm CST
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
  • TV: FSOK/NBATV
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -2.0 | O/U: 220
  • Off Rating: OKC – 107.9 (17th) | DET – 108.6 (13th)
  • Def Rating: OKC – 101.4 (1st) | DET – 106.3 (8th)

When the regular season schedule is first released, there’s a definite curiosity to predict the win/loss record based on who you think the superior team is on a nightly basis. For the Oklahoma City Thunder, there was a feeling that the early months on the schedule would be the easier ones. But then again, this season has not necessarily gone as planned in terms of how some teams are performing. Continue reading Thunder @ Pistons Preview (Game 22 of 82)

Rockets vs. Thunder Preview (Game 11 of 82)

rockets logo vs okc logo

  • When: Thursday, 08 November 2018 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: HOU -4.0 | O/U: 214
  • Off Rating: OKC – 106.3 (19th) | HOU – 105.8 (20th)
  • Def Rating: OKC – 103.7 (4th) | HOU – 110.1 (22nd)

Winning ugly is the staple of a good team. Especially when the team is missing key contributors due to injury or other reasons. The Oklahoma City Thunder team of last season would’ve likely succumbed to the malaise of not having a Russell Westbrook and would’ve lost an ugly game. But this year’s team seems to be a bit different.  Continue reading Rockets vs. Thunder Preview (Game 11 of 82)

Thunder @ Cavaliers Preview (Game 10 of 82)

okc logo at cavs

  • When: Wednesday, 07 November 2018 at 6:00 pm CST
  • Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: OKC -6.5 | O/U: 218
  • Off Rating: OKC – 107.3 (18th) | CLE – 106.4 (20th)
  • Def Rating: OKC – 105.4 (5th) | CLE – 117.2 (30th)

Adversity is a word that has become synonymous with the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. Whether it’s Andre Roberson needing an extra two months of rehab due to a stitch. Or Russell Westbrook missing all of the training camp and the first two games of the season. Or Paul George having to deal with another weird injury (numb forearm last season, numb foot this year). Or Westbrook going down with a sprained ankle after the Thunder were on their current roll of five wins in a row.  Continue reading Thunder @ Cavaliers Preview (Game 10 of 82)

Kings vs. Thunder preview (Game 3 of 82)

kings vs okc logo

  • When: Sunday, 21 October 2018 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 -10.0 | O/U: 217.5

One of the biggest issues last season for the Oklahoma City Thunder was not winning the games they were supposed to win. Last season, the Thunder were 26-14 against non-playoff opponents. That, by itself, isn’t terrible. It’s a .650 winning percentage, which is great in any league. But when combined with the Thunder’s record against playoff teams (22-20), that’s where the problem lies. Continue reading Kings vs. Thunder preview (Game 3 of 82)

Thunder vs. Clippers preview (Game 2 of 82)

okc logo at clippers

  • When: Friday, 19 October 2018 at 9:30 pm CST
  • Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • TV: FSOK
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: LAC -3.0 | O/U: 214

It almost seemed like moral victories were the worst type of losses last season. To have a team that was expected to make a ton of noise as constructed, only to be an inconsistent mess only solidified the point that moral victories were useless last season. None of the losses felt like victories, while a handful of the wins felt like losses. It was a frustrating season all around.  Continue reading Thunder vs. Clippers preview (Game 2 of 82)

Thunder vs. Warriors preview (Game 1 of 82)

okc logo at gsw

  • When: Tuesday, 16 October 2018 at 9:30 pm CST
  • Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))
  • Line: GS -13.0 | O/U: 220.5

Even with the uncertainty surrounding Andre Roberson’s recovery from patella tendon surgery and Russell Westbrook’s recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery, there’s a sense of calm as the Oklahoma City Thunder embark on the 2018-19 season. Over the past three seasons, the beginning of the season has usually been accompanied with the unknown dread associated with the upcoming free agency decisions of key players on the team.  Continue reading Thunder vs. Warriors preview (Game 1 of 82)

Bucks vs. Thunder Preview (Preseason Game 4)

bucks vs okc logo

  • When: Tuesday, 09 October 2018 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
  • TV: FSOK/NBATV
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))

There was a play on Sunday that encapsulated what exactly Thunder fans are hoping for from Paul George this season. In the second quarter, as the Thunder were finally getting a hold of the game, George jumped up to steal a cross-court pass attempt on the defensive end of the floor. He then dribbled the ball up court and calmly stepped into a transition three that swished through. The Thunder went up by 10 at that point and never looked back.  Continue reading Bucks vs. Thunder Preview (Preseason Game 4)

Thunder at T-Wolves preview (Preseason Game 2)

okc logo at twolves

  • When: Friday, 05 October 2018 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • TV: None (Streamed at OKCThunder.com and the Thunder app)
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))

There are times where basketball takes a backseat. Whether it’s the death of a loved one or a personal set-back, the human aspect of athletics usually gets lost in the minutiae of sports. On Wednesday, Paul George missed the Thunder’s preseason opener due to a personal matter. That personal matter turned out to be the passing of his girlfriend’s father. Continue reading Thunder at T-Wolves preview (Preseason Game 2)