Friday, October 10, 2008
Pre-Season Preview: Thunder vs Kings
The Thunder will take on the Sacramento Kings tonight at 9:00 PM CST at Arco Arena in Sacramento. Both the Thunder and the Kings have lost their only preseason games so far with the Kings getting blown out by the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday and the Thunder narrowly losing to the Timberwolves on Wednesday. For both teams, this game provides the best opportunity for a win during the preseason.
For the Thunder, the #1 goal for the game should be an improved shooting percentage from the field from the starters. The starting five hit a mere 29.5% (13 of 44) from the field against the T-wolves. The bench shot an impressive 60.7% (17 of 28) from the field. We can't expect that percentage from the bench every game, but it will be a positive thing if the bench can continue to contribute. The bench outscored the starters 45-37 on Wednesday, but the starters played for a combined 46 more minutes. If the starters are going to get more minutes, they need to outscore the bench.
The #2 goal for the Thunder should be improved performance out of Kevin Durant. Durant took the most shots for the Thunder on Wednesday, but only ended up as the forth highest scorer. The only highlights for Durant on the night were that he was perfect from the foul line (4 for 4) and tied for the lead in rebounds with 7.
Finally, if possible, the #3 goal should be to get more guys involved in the game. Only 10 of the 17 players brought to the last game played, and it's hard to evaluate talent outside of actual competition. This goal is only possible if the other two goals are met. Otherwise the focus should be on improving the core and learning to win with the talent we have.