Okay. I'm supposed to do this but after the Lakers game I really don't know what to say. I will do a preview section and then an Expected Value Review Section (copyright me, 2013).
(EDIT) Also if the game doesn't exactly happen as the Expected Value Review Section suggested, I promise to do a real review. I don't think it will be needed, though.
Ricky vs Westie:
We know Ricky. He is magical. He almost cries after heartbreaking losses because he hates losing. Westbrook hates Ricky and plays with some extra fire against him. I don't know the reason, it probably has to do something with Ricky's hype or whatever. I'm afraid to say this, but this is only a draw today. Maybe Ricky can get the bad Westbrook out and force him into hero turnovering the game away from OKC.
Luke vs Sefolosha:
This is an insignificant matchup. Really.
AK vs Durant
I have several scenarios here.
- Durant goes unstoppable and hits every possible type of contested jumpshot imaginable despite AK's stellar defense. Also makes it to the line 10-15 times just getting ahem...fouled on jumpshots.
- Durant struggles against AK's defense however, somehow, someway AK gets in to foul trouble and Durant shoots 10-15 free throws just getting ahem...fouled on jumpshots. He ends up having a monster game against Luke Ridnour who is forced to cover him because everyone else fouled out in minute 10 on Durant.
- AK plays stellar defense in the first six minutes of the game then goes down with a career ending back injury. On the play he gets injured, he collapses and Durant stumbles into him. AK gets called for a foul, and since OKC were in the bonus starting from minute 2, gets to shoot 3 free throws. The refs review the accident and AK gets a flagrant one because collapsing in front of your opponent is NOT a basketball play. Durant gets to shoot more free throws and Adelman also gets ejected. The league issues an apology the next day.
Seriously, AK will defend Durant well and still foul out, quickly. Then we will see the promising Gelabale - Durant matchup for 38 minutes.
Derrick vs Ibaka
Derrick will probably mudrun once in the game and get hacked on every possession, maybe even get hit in the groin area or whatever. Of course, as Ibaka is the best shotblocker and defender ever, we can expect a 3-16 night from Derrick who just happens to produce sounds of being hit and stuff like that. Nothing to do with Ibaka of course, who, I repeat, is a stellar defender and the best shotblocker ever.
Seriously, I expect Ibaka to get away with a ton and Derrick to be off. His game doesn't really tolerate being hacked all the time and then not getting calls for it.
Pek vs Perkins
Pek eats iron. Iron is tougher than Perkins. Perkins is going to be eaten.
I give a nod to OKC here although if we get good Barea, we win this matchup. Also, I hate Derek Fisher, with a passion. I really like Nick Collison, but he is white, so I don't want him on this team because Jerry Zgoda will write another article.
Rick Adelman is a legend. Scotty Brooks will sadly win a ring before him, but is nowhere near the coach our Rick Adelman is.
You know it, I touched on it in several matchups. OKC will have 40 FTAs by the end of the 3rd, whereas the Wolves will have probably something like 4. By the end of the fourth the zebras will 'correct' this ratio to 20-40.
This was a blowout where OKC shot 50% from the three point line and Durant got 2 four-point plays. On each play, Minnesota played the following illegal defensive scheme: a defender entered the cylinder whose center coincides with Durant's center and whose radius is 3 meters. These fouls were all called in critical situations during the game. After some talk the refs also decided to dole out techs to Adelman, Rubio and Barea in the very same situations.
After the game, the league issued a statement in which they declared that an FTA difference of 20 is perfectly normal and the 36 fta difference experienced at the end of the third is just 'the result of small sample variance'.
Maybe next year we will have a healthy roster of referees.