Monday, November 17, 2008

Rockets vs. Thunder: Pre-game primer

Houston Rockets (6-4) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Monday, November 17
Ford Center
Oklahoma City, OK
7:00 PM CST

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM)
Is there any hope for tonight? Any reason at all to turn off College Football Live's endless coverage of OU/Tech and tune in to watch Oklahoma City play the Rockets tonight?
(Still thinking...)
Ok, so I don't really have a reason per say, but I can tell you this: Yao Ming is really tall, Tracy McGrady is really good and Ron Artest is a little unbalanced so who knows what we might see? Just like the thousands of you Oklahomans that chug to the Myriad to watch Doug Sauter's Blazers play, go watch the Thunder for the outside chance of a cool fist fight tonight. The Rockets rumbled with the Suns last week - even though goonie Matt Barnes started it - so I guess there's a chance.
Because other than that, I can't really think of much of a reason to watch this team at this point. One night, OKC gets down by 30 and then the other team falls asleep and the Thunder try to make a game out of it. The next night, they do the same thing again. Then again. And then they play hard and consistent for two quarters and just the opposite of the previous nights, they tumble in the second half. As frustrating as it is to watch, I bet it's even more so for the dudes on the floor. We can tell ourselves it will get better and we can keep chalking it up to inexperience, but as long as it keeps happening, we will keep getting sadder. But one thing - the Rockets haven't blown anyone out yet in their six wins. Every game has been close, including an 89-77 win over the Thunder at the beginning of the month.

But these were the type of games we lived for (warning: Hornets comparison) in 2005. These were the type of out-of-nowhere wins that made us fall in love with that transplanted group. Of course they had Chris Paul and we have Earl Watson, but still, I guess it's possible.
What is encouraging for OKC though is Jeff Green. He's averaging 15. 2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He's becoming the player Sam Presti has dreamed about. Kevin Durant has been solid, a little inconsistent himself, but solid. Russell Westbrook sure has flashes of awesomeness, but then there's the bad charge, the bad turnover or the bad shot. So what will it take to be competitive tonight? For once, all three of those guys have a good game together. Forget Earl Watson, Desmond Mason or Nick Collison. Wins are going to come through these three guys. Collison and company are absolutely vital to give support, but those three guys will have to be the guys to carry OKC to wins. Especially if it wants to win games like tonight, where it realistically isn't supposed to have any shot.

This will be the first time the Thunder has to go head-to-head with the Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball team. Lucky for Kevin Durant and company, OU is playing Mississippi Valley State, so maybe not that many will choose Lloyd Noble over the Ford Center tonight. But maybe unlucky for the Thunder: What would you rather see - 20 incredible dunks by Blake Griffin or 20 Earl Watson jumpers clank off back-iron. A tougher choice than I thought.


Steve H said...

Sounds crazy, but I'm feeling hopeful for this one. We'll see how it comes out. Was looking at espn site's top teen rookie stats- Westbrook playing 5 min less per game than anyone else on the list. No reason on earth for that stat- not like we have been riding Watson to victory.

Anonymous said...

That does sound crazy. But in all honesty, should the Thunder be favored EVER this year? And they're not going to lose out. As much reason to feel hopeful for this one than any other probably.

Steve H said...

Midway through the 3rd now- and I'm ready to trade Watson and Petro for a case of Power Aid and a bag of Fritos. Glad to se Swift starting- but I don't get why Petro sees any minutes. Guy is 7 footer that doesn't block, rebound or play defense. Collison and Smith can play center. Sene got a couple minutes the other night. No reason for this guy to be suiting up. Watson makes me want to jab things into my eyes. Looking forward to some personel changes-starting with the coach this off-season.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the Oklahoma City fans cheer the team on to victory like they used to do with the Hornets. Losers!

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand it. When we had the Hornets we ALWAYS willed them to victory! This team just doesn't respond to us like the Hornets did.

I give up. Friday night I'm wearing my OKC Hornets gear.

Anonymous said...

What's the over/under on number of empty seats for the Clippers game on Wednesday? I say 2,000. That means everyone who does show up will have to cheer 110% to will the team to victory!

Kris Bryant said...

Correction: the Blazers play at the Ford Center. Also, how many of the Hornets home games did we help them "chug" to victory? Not that many if I recall.

Anonymous said...

What the hell are you talking about?

elle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
elle said...

Dude, you seriously can't take a little grammar lesson and had to delete it? Well then fine, be the idiot who uses the wrong spelling of per se.

Royce said...

No, it was the use of "Jesus F**** Christ." I don't like that type of stuff. Thanks for the correction though.

elle said...

You do realize they are just words don't you? A form of expression. I'll never understand a country where people get offended by words (or nudity for that matter) but seeing people get butchered and tortured on television or, say, killing animals for sport is fine by them. Relative moralism at it's best.