Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0, 1-0 neutral) vs Philadelphia 76ers (0-0, 0-0 neutral)
Where: Phones 4U Arena – Manchester, England
When: 2:00 pm
TV: NBA TV (Cox HD 726, DirecTV 216, Dish 156, AT&T U-Verse HD 1632)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
|PG:||Reggie Jackson||Michael Carter-Williams|
|SG:||Thabo Sefolosha||Evan Turner|
|SF:||Kevin Durant||Thaddeus Young|
|PF:||Serge Ibaka||Lavoy Allen|
|C:||Kendrick Perkins||Spencer Hawes|
Last Time: Oklahoma City swept the two games last season against the 76ers, including their last victory 109-85 on January 4th.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are heading into their last leg of European adventure. They were impressive in their opening win, specifically in the second half of their game against Fenerbahce Ulker. They fought back from as much as 10 down in the first half and took a six point halftime lead. Then they turned that into a nice 13-point victory.
Kevin Durant was just his normal, ho hum self. He had 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including a dunk that looked very mid-season. He also had eight rebounds, almost touching the double-double mark in a little less than three quarters.
This will be the first game of the preseason for the new look Philadelphia 76ers. They traded a few players, such as Jrue Holiday. They added lottery picks in Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. However, Noel will be out for sometime, still recovering from his ACL surgery. Carter-Williams will be a focal point of the offense most of the season.
They weren’t very good last season, and are picked by many to be the worst team in the Eastern Conference, if not the entire NBA. They’re tanking for Wiggins, as they call it. Really young team though, lots of potential. We saw a lot of that potential at the Orlando Pro Summer League. Oklahoma City prevailed in that battle as well.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without Russell Westbrook until middle December. Looks like Kendrick Perkins might not play either. Look for Hasheem Thabeet or Steven Adams to step up in his place if that’s the case. Other than that, Oklahoma City is very healthy.
In Philadelphia, Noel is out still with the ACL injury. Jason Richardson is out as well, and is doubtful for the start of the regular season.
The 76ers and the Thunder have met a total of 123 times over their histories, with Philadelphia holding a slim 64-59 lead in the series. Since the Thunder moved from Seattle, they are leading the series though, 8-1. Oklahoma City lost their initial battle against the 76ers. They’ve rolled off the last eight games.
What to watch for
The Oklahoma City Thunder will need to have their big men step up if Perkins is unable to go against the 76ers. Adams and Thabeet will need to be big contributors to the Thunder continuity if they’re going to come out with a victory today.
We’re going to be watching this all preseason long, get used to it. We’re curious on how he’ll handle the pressure, especially against NBA teams. He did well against Fenerbahce, but the talent on defense is now improved. So, now we’re going to see what he can do against a higher talented roster.
Oklahoma City turned it over 19 times in the win over Fenerbahce. That’s just way too many. It’s to be expected as it was the first game out of the shoot, so sloppy happens. Oklahoma City needs to see some improvement with a win over the 76ers here.