November 3rd. - Season Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder (2-1) vs Los Angeles Lakers (2-1) @ Oklahoma City.
8:00 PM EST; TV: KCAL,FSOK
The champs first road trip of the season. It's short and sweet. Lakers should have no problem being 4-1 after this 2 day getaway. Let's start with this game first. Lakers are obviously the stronger team in the paint, that's an easy discovery, however where the Thunder can beat us is in at SF position with Durant. Artest will have his hands full against Durant. Hopefully with the way Artest has been lifting up his defensive game, this will be a great opportunity to shut down one of the leagues best. The Lakers need Gasol NOW to help Bynum dominate the Thunders void down under...the rim. I have to say though, Josh Powell looks great out there. His shots are going down and he seems to be really poised out there when given minutes. I like his confidence.
Gasol is expected to cut his 6 week healing process in half as the Lakers need his NBA season debut sooner that Doctor's orders. As you know, Gasol was injured during a training camp practice a few days after playing in an exhibition game against the Golden State Warriors. He said he felt pain in his hamstring, but didn't think it was too serious so he finished the workout. Unfortunately the pain increased. The pain lingered longer than expected, maybe a residual of playing consecutive off seasons with the Spanish national team.
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy basketball game for the champs. Even though they take the victory, they're still yet to play championship level ball. A game with 46 turnovers, Lakers with 25 of them, not an impressive win but they'll definitely take it in OT. OKC Thunder just didn't have the capability of maneuvering an organized play. Near the end of regulation, after an OKC T/O, Tie score, with plenty of time left for a drawn out play to lead to a high percentage shot, Durant ends up settling for a shot 5 feet away from the 3pt line? Huh? Sloppy. Lakers are really lucky to come out with a W tonight.
Final note: The champs need to be more in sync to dominate the Western Conference. The Boston Celtics are cruising by their opponents, winning by an average of 21.6 points in their first 5 games. Currently ESPN has the champs ranked #3 in the NBA! #3?! The champs? Hell no! I know its early and we have no Gasol, however we should be playing tighter defense and run the triangle much smoother than what we're doing now.
Here are the final numbers to the game: