Monday, December 29, 2008

Suns vs. Thunder: Pre-game view


Phoenix Suns (16-12) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-28)
Monday, December 29

Ford Center

Oklahoma City, OK
7:00 CST

TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM)

View from the other side: Bright Side of the Sun (And be sure to check out the podcast at the bottom at Joe from Thunderguru talks with Phoenix Stan)

We all remember what happened the first time the two teams met. Phoenix was playing without the extremely large cactus and the Suns were flatter than a three week old Coke. That was the second game under Scott Brooks and the Thunder played with the kind of moxie and determination that was strangely missing for the first month before it. The Suns outscored the Thunder 29-17 in the final 12 and ultimately won by a digit, 99-98.

So what happened in that first meeting? How'd the Thunder take Phoenix to the brink?

- The Suns shot 53.4 percent from the field. OKC shot 41.9.
- Phoenix hit four more threes than OKC (nine to five).

Judging by those two stats, you'd think the Suns ran away with it by 12 or something. But the Thunder paid attention to detail. OKC shot 24 free throws to Phoenix's 16. And the best part? The Thunder actually hit 21 of those. OKC turned the ball over three fewer times than the Suns. OKC outrebounded Phoenix 40-34, including a whopping 15 offensive boards. The Thunder had 13 steals and outran Phoenix, scoring 17 fast break points to the Suns' 15.

But remember, that all happened without Shaq.

I think what Phoenix Stan had to say in his pregame at Bright Side is interesting: "The real reason [the Thunder] only have 3 wins is that after a horrible start under the oppressive thumb of P.J. Carlisimoso they earned themselves such a reputation that teams are now afraid to lose to them ... Imagine losing to the Thunder. Even if you are fairly crappy team yourself you might just earn a shoe thrown at your coach by a member of the local media during the post game press conference."

That's a different theory on why the team is 3-28. I think there's definitely some truth to that, but I think it's more that the team is too young, too thin and too clueless to figure out how to win.

So the Suns surely don't want to lose this one. They're still stinging from that Christmas Day loss to the hated Spurs and tonight will likely be a chance to get out some frustration. But then again, at some point OKC surely has to surprise somebody. It happens all the time, in every sport. A team that has no business winning gets it done out of nowhere. Maybe tonight. Probably not, but maybe. That's why they'll go ahead and play it and that's why we'll all be watching.


Anonymous said...

If a blog is published and no one reads it, is it still considered a blog?

Anonymous said...

Tonight's game capsule.

The Phoenix Suns are the latest unfortunate souls who have to visit that craphole known as Oklahoma City. The good news for the Suns is that they escape for Memphis immediately following their victory. Unfortunate for Thunder players, they are sentenced to a season in hell unless they are lucky enough to be traded before the deadline.

Anonymous said...

Great blog Royce. Don't listen to the haters. If they are taking time out of the day to post asinine comments, you know you are doing an alright job. :)

GO Thunder! 2012 Nba champs!

Anonymous said...

I think most of the commenters don't even read his posts and just shit all over him in the comments section. And for good reason.

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading Royce's generic crap weeks ago, I'm here for the comments.

Anonymous said...

This site is useless without comments from outside of Oklahoma. Most Okies can't even read.

Chad said...

Hey Royce, enjoy the blog. I remember reading you in the OU Daily when I was a student there. (If it's the same guy) I am anxiously awaiting the format change, so we don't have to sift through the sore seattle losers. Just a thought, but maybe on your pre-game primer you could start giving predictions?

Royce said...

Chad, that's a great idea. Maybe Royce could also start offering ideas, thoughts, insight, etc?

Dick Van Dyk said...

Isn't it strange how all the men in Seattle seem to have plump bottoms and like shopping more than sports?

Royce said...

Yeah Chad, that's me. Thanks for reading. Then and now.

I gave predictions for like the first six games but it's not fun predicting losses and there's not many wins to predict.

Royce = Gestapo said...

Royce, why did you censure (that's a fancy word we use in big league cities - find a dictionary) those of us who hate on OKC without condemning the constant plump butt gay sex references from the OKC posters? These posters are repulsive and offensive.

Anonymous said...

Hey Royce,

I remember reading you in the Daily too. Who was that guy you worked with? Really hot. A much more talented writer ... what was it again? Stuart? Stephan? Something like that?

I heard he likes Cici's and he's real down to earth.

Royce said...

Look, I haven't censured anything yet. I was just informing that in the very near future, a comment policy will be put in place. Like I've said in other areas, it doesn't matter if my best friend made the comment, if it doesn't fall under the guidelines then it will be removed. Seattle fan, OKC fan, Russia fan. Doesn't matter.

The point is the remove all this ridiculous back-and-forth and try and get the focus on what it's intended to be - OKC bsketball, no matter how bad it may be.

Anonymous said...

Royce, who taught you how to spell? Are you the smartest Okie?

Anonymous said...

OKC basketball is a joke.

No one cares about a team destined to lose 70 games.

Royce = Gestapo said...

HAHAHA Royce you are a true moron. I said CENSURE, not censor. I even WARNED you that you should look it up, yet you still managed to fail; emulating your favorite basketball team.

Anonymous said...

Let me help the dumb Okies.

Pronunciation: \ˈsen(t)-shər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin censura, from censēre
Date: 14th century
1: a judgment involving condemnation
2archaic : opinion , judgment
3: the act of blaming or condemning sternly
4: an official reprimand

Now who's going to explain the meaning to them?