Tag Archives: tanking

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preview (Game 61 of 82)

thunder sixers

  • When: Wednesday, 04 February 2015 at 7:00 PM CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

After a nice two day break that allowed some of the injured Thunder players to further collect their bearings, it’s back to the hardwood with one of those players back into the line-up. The Thunder start a home-heavy run that features 9 of their next 11 games in Oklahoma City. With the Thunder clinging to the 8th position by one game over New Orleans, this home-heavy schedule is exactly what the doctor ordered to combat the road heavy schedule that beat the team down in the beginning of the season.

This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams. The Thunder won the first meeting 103-91. That was the first victory of the year where both Westbrook and Durant played, and it happened in early December.

The Opponent

noel covington thompson sixers

The 76ers currently find themselves with a 13-47 record. They score the least amount of points per game in the league (90.3) and give up over 10 points more (100.8 ppg). They have a roster full of 2nd rounders and undrafted free agents. They traded away last season’s rookie of the year, and the two players they drafted in the first round in the last draft have yet to play a game for them this year (Joel Embiid and Dario Saric). They are the epitome of tanking and the bane of the commissioner to field a completely competitive league. With all that said, the players themselves, play extremely hard. The Sixers are guided by 2nd year point guard Isaiah Canaan, who was acquired from the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline. In the 6 games he’s played for the Sixers, he’s averaged 10.5 points and 2.8 assists. The SG position has been a mix of JaKarr Sampson and the veteran Jason Richardson of late. On the other wing, veteran Luc Mbah a Moute is their veteran perimeter stopper. Up front, Nerlens Noel and Henry Sims are an inexperienced pairing, but can change a game with their different skill sets. Noel is a good rim protector and Sims is crafty offensive player in the post.┬áThe Sixers are literally like an elementary school team in that nearly everyone on the team plays. Their highest usage players off the bench are Ish Smith, Jerami Grant, Furkan Aldemir, Thomas Robinson, and Hollis Thompson.

Probable Starting Line-Ups

Philadelphia 76ers

  • PG – Isaiah Canaan
  • SG – JaKarr Sampson
  • SF – Luc Mbah a Moute
  • PF – Nerlens Noel
  • C – Henry Sims

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Andre Roberson
  • SF – Kyle Singler
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Enes Kanter

3 Keys to the Game

1. Effort – Sometimes, its hard to remove the stigma of a team’s record from the players on the floor. But the Sixers are a competitive team. Maybe not as skilled as most teams in the league, but it is not due to lack of effort. If the Thunder don’t come out with the right mindset, the game could be a little bit more competitive than they had hoped for.

2. Serge Ibaka – His ability to play on the perimeter will help in pulling Noel away from the rim. Noel is a lot Ibaka in that his biggest asset defensively is as a rim protector.

ibaka westbrook thunder

3. Russell Westbrook – Welcome back after a brief one game absence. But, really, just a plain clear mask? Boooooo!!!!!!

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preview (Game 61 of 82)

jackson carter williams thunder 76ers

  • When: Tuesday, 04 March 2014 at 7:00 PM CST
  • Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

The Oklahoma City Thunder have started to look like themselves once again. After starting the 2nd half of the season 0-3, and looking lost with Russell Westbrook back at the point guard helm, the Thunder have strung together two straight victories over quality opponents (the Grizzlies and the Bobcats). Injuries are still playing a factor as starters Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha are possibly out for the rest of the regular season. But the Thunder have weathered these storms this season and will continue to adapt.

This is the 2nd meeting of the season between these two clubs. The Thunder won the first meeting 103-91 in Philadelphia. In that game, Kevin Durant messed around and got a triple double (32 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists), while Serge Ibaka had double/double with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

The Opponent

wroten carter williams 76ers

Philadelphia is turning rebuilding (“TANKING!”) into an art form this season. In the beginning of the season, the Sixers’ three best players were Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young. Only Young still remains and all Philadelphia has to show for Hawes and Turner is 3 second round picks and some guy named Henry Sims. ┬áTheir record currently stands at 15-45 and they are riding a 14 game losing streak. During their current losing streak, they’ve lost their games by an average of 18.9 points. Leading the team is rookie pg Michael Carter-Williams, whose play has been one of the few bright spots in this season. He’s second on the team in points and leads the team in assists. On the wing, Tony Wroten can be a menace defensively and Thaddeus Young leads the team in scoring at 17.7 points per game. Their bench is a lot like their team, in general: a few developing players, but plenty of weaknesses.

Probable Starting Line-Up

Philadelphia 76ers

  • PG – Michael Carter-Williams
  • SG – James Anderson
  • SF – Hollis Thompson
  • PF – Thaddeus Young
  • C – Henry Sims

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG – Russell Westbrook
  • SG – Perry Jones III
  • SF – Kevin Durant
  • PF – Serge Ibaka
  • C – Steven Adams

3 Keys to the Game

1. Don’t look at the record – The Thunder have this bad habit of allowing bad teams to stay in games until the 4th quarter. Even though the team is bad, they are all still paid professionals with some modicum of pride. With that said, I will be highly disappointed if this game is not decided by the beginning of the 4th quarter.

2. Kevin Durant – Everyone will be wanting Durant to respond to the 61 point performance put on by Lebron James on Monday against the Charlotte Bobcats. A couple things to note: Lebron played the entire 4th quarter when his team had a 19 point lead to begin the quarter and Charlotte was on the 2nd night of a back to back that had them traveling from Oklahoma City to Miami. With that said, I fully expect Durant to have more of a triple double-type game than a scoring explosion.

caron butler thunder

3. Welcome, Caron Butler – Scott Brooks will have a new toy to play with off the bench. I say toy, because Butler is a veteran and he can shoot the 3-pointer. Nothing makes Brooks happier than a veteran that can shoot the 3-ball.