The Oklahoma City Thunder go into tonight‘s game against the Phoenix Suns looking to prove that they aren’t just another team without Russell Westbrook. A lot of people are doubting the Thunder after a blow out loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday; those people have the right to judge after a lackluster performance from most of the Thunder’s roster. Kevin Durant only put up 13 points, while Jeremy Lamb led the team with 16 points coming off of the bench.
Tonight’s game isn’t a game with any huge implications, but it’s a game that the Thunder need to win if they want to avoid a slew of negative backlash in every major media outlet. Personally, I’m happy that the Thunder are forced to start the season without Westbrook. It’s a challenge that I think OKC needs to overcome in order to grow as a team.
With Westbrook down, Reggie Jackson and Lamb have to handle a heavier load of minutes. It gives the fans a chance to get a closer look at these young players, and these players have the chance to gain some confidence before Westbrook returns. Many may not see it this way, but it’s a win-win situation for the Thunder organization. It doesn’t matter if they come out of this challenge with a losing record, because the players are learning so much on a daily basis.
Tonight’s game is the Thunder’s first home game of the season. The roar of Loud City will have their team pumped and ready to send their fans home happy with a victory. The suns are a team full of question marks and no answers in sight. Many people believe that the Suns are preparing to tank, in hopes of landing a top three draft pick in 2014.
That theory isn’t totally impossible, seeing as they did just trade away center Marcin Gortat for what seemed like nothing.
With all that being said, the Suns have somehow found a way to start the season with a 2-0 record. Starting point guard Eric Bledsoe has led this Suns team through two games and will look to continue his great play tonight. Look for a big game from Durant at home after failing to break the 20 point mark last game.