Thunder vs. the Spurs - Game Preview

US PRESSWIRE

A re-match of the Western Conference Finals as the Spurs get set to host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

San Antonio Spurs vs Oklahoma City Thunder

AT&T Center
Nov. 1, 2012, 8:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: TNT - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

This was supposed to be an exact rematch of the western conference finals. The Thunder were supposed to be the same team plus Perry Jones III and minus Dereck Fisher. Well so much for that. The Thunder went and traded away one of their three best players for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin and draft picks. On top of that, they did this after preseason. So the new look Thunder’s first game together is a regular season game against the Spurs. This has all the components of being a great game. What more could you ask for? So enjoy this one. Before you get to watching though, here are a few questions that will be lurking in the background of tonight's game.

Will the Thunder miss James Harden?

Yes. Take away all the stats. Take away the fact that Thunder fans are left with "fear the beard" shirts that are only wearable for hipsters who like "ironic statements". A scary good and versatile player just left OKC for another western conference team. Analysts call James Harden a "Manu clone". His role on the Thunder always seemed like plagiarism. Having one of your best players come off the bench is our idea! Well now he is the franchise guy for another team. The immediate result is there a now glaring disparity between the Thunder’s 1st and 2nd unit. And this leads us to the next question.

How cool is it going to be watch the second units of the Spurs and Thunder go at it?

So cool that the temperature will be approaching absolute zero. This is now a clear weak spot for the Thunder. On the flip side our second unit is more cohesive and deep than it was last season. (And it was cohesive and deep last season) Look for their starters to play an obscene amount of minutes compared to the Spurs. For one simple reason: a rotation led by Martin is no match for a bench with the likes of Stephen Jackson and Tiago Splitter. One day Jeremy Lamb and Robert Perry Jones III could be great contributors to this team, but not yet. Look for the silver and black to rack up points when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are sitting down.

Who is the Spurs' human victory cigar?

This game is probably going to be too close for an HVC to see any action. So whoever does not play is a surefire candidate for that position. One could argue that the Spurs really don’t have a HVC. When you look at your classic HVCs (guys like Brian Scalablrine and PJ Tucker) it is apparent that this team doesn’t have someone like that. Someone who just by checking in the fans know that "yeap this game is over". Anyone on the Spurs bench is theoretically capable of starting, so that is awesome. Not awesome if you like HVCs though.

Which player on the Thunder looks like a character from Street Fighter?

Thabo Sefolosha, with his longs arms flailing about he totally looks like Dhalsim.

Which player on the Spurs looks like a character from Street Fighter?

Tiago Splitter resembles a young M. Bison. That is before he became a psychologically imbalanced dude vent on taking over the world.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Boris Diaw

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal
Tiago Splitter
Stephen Jackson

Lineups

Starters
PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Thabo Sefolosha
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Serge Ibaka
C: Kendrick Perkins

Key Bench Players
Kevin Martin
Nick Collison
Eric Maynor

Thunder perspective can be found here: Welcome to Loud City

Final analysis:

This is going to be an awesome game.

Prediction: Spurs by 3

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.

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