Tahlequah Daily Press


December 17, 2012

Thunder at 4 p.m.: General health, strong bench could give OKC an edge

NORMAN — The numbers say when Oklahoma City (19-4) and San Antonio (19-6) face-off at 7 p.m. today at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, it will be a battle of two almost identical teams. 

The Thunder are averaging 105.7 points per game while the Spurs are a notch below at 104.8. San Antonio is holding its opponents to 97 points a night. OKC is at 96.4.

Both have all-time great forwards in Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan and stellar point guards in Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook.

However, where Oklahoma may have the advantage is being injury free and its bench. While the Spurs could be without two or three key players tonight, the Thunder enter the matchup healthy.

In the past, it has been the Spurs who have had the superior bench. But this year, even with the loss of Sixth Man of the Year James Harden, Oklahoma City's second unit of Nick Collison, Eric Maynor, Kevin Martin and Hasheem Thabeet, has found a way to improve in almost every category.

Coach Scott Brooks has put his best player on the court more and more with the second team and it has turned into a weapon for the Thunder.

"Biggest thing is having KD in that unit," coach Scott Brooks said. "He's a good guy to have in the second group. We've changed our rotations up a little bit and it's worked. Guys are still learning how each other fits in. I think that second unit has been much better. Once I put Kevin in that unit, we've kind of stuck with that."

The Thunder go for their 11th win in a row tonight, which the franchise hasn’t done since Nov. 1996 when it was still in Seattle.

Text Only

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA