August 16, 2012 |
With the Lakers' roster changes pretty much finalized, it's safe now to envision how the team will fare heading into the 2012-13 season. Sure, the Lakers will have to narrow their 14-man roster during training camp, and no one knows what deals leading into the trade deadline could change the NBA landscape. But in the spirit of seeing how things have evolved for the Lakers since the 2012 NBA playoffs ended, this is one in a series breaking down potentially troublesome opponents. Team: Oklahoma City Thunder Lakers' record versus Thunder last year: 1-2 in regular season; lost 4-1 in Western Conference semifinals How Thunder fared last season: Compiled a 47-19 regular-season record (second in Western Conference)
April 8, 2014 |
The Clippers know that their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on Wednesday night is important. "It's a big game," Blake Griffin said Tuesday before practice. "You can't really dance around that. They are right in front of us. But at the same time, it's still going to go up to another level in the playoffs. It's not going to be quite like it is in the playoffs, but it will be an intense game. " If the Clippers defeat the Thunder, Los Angeles still has a chance to move past Oklahoma City in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
December 31, 2011 |
OKLAHOMA CITY AT DALLAS When: Monday at 5:30 p.m. PST. TV: NBA TV. Update: The schedule makers must have really wanted to find out in the season's first nine days if the Thunder is ready to lower the boom on the NBA's defending champions. Oklahoma City prevailed, 104-102, on Thursday in the first meeting between the presumed Western Conference powers when Kevin Durant made a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat the visiting Mavericks. Now the teams will meet again four days later, giving Dallas a chance to pick up the pace following an abysmally slow start.
June 14, 2012 |
OKLAHOMA CITY -- If only one of the Big Three shows up again, there will quickly be a Big Two for Oklahoma City. As in a 2-0 series lead in the NBA Finals. The Miami Heat's LeBron James did his part in Game 1, posting 30 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals, but that ever-elusive first NBA championship was still four victories away for him. The Thunder took Game 1, 105-94, holding Dwyane Wade to seven-for-19 shooting and limiting Chris Bosh to 10 points in 34 minutes.
February 12, 2014 |
James Harden is long gone, presumably never to return. Russell Westbrook is probably coming back soon, though the right knee that has required three surgeries since April makes his long-term durability somewhat questionable. That leaves Kevin Durant, which means everything is going to be OK(C) for the Thunder. It almost seems as if the spindly forward is all Oklahoma City needs on many nights. Durant recently scored 30 or more points in 12 consecutive games, a streak that ended only after he sat out the entire fourth quarter of a blowout victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
June 11, 2012 |
Key stat: Oklahoma City is 8-0 in the playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the decibel level can be more hazardous to eardrums than the tarmac at nearby Will Rogers World Airport. Outlook: The NBA Finals should be sponsored by Marvel Comics, so rich is it in superstars and their accompanying nicknames. There's King James versus Durantula. Flash against The Beard. Seemingly every fan outside Miami has cast the Heat in the role of the villain, still miffed nearly two years later by "The Decision" (or was it that ridiculous introductory party in which LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh low-fived fans while walking along a runway as if they were debuting the Marc Jacobs spring collection?