The last time the Suns played the Thunder, I wrote the contest would be as close as it would get to a “gimme game” in the National Basketball Association.
Of course, it ended up being anything but that with the Suns trailing by 16 at one point and needed a game-winning three from Matt Barnes just to win by one point.
The only time I’ve watched the Thunder all year was that game, but I still think they’re much better than their 3-28 mark.
They have a budding superstar in Kevin Durant, and once Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green get another high lottery teammate and develop together, this team will be loaded in a few years.
For now, though, this is still a contest the Suns should win, especially since they enter it having played just one contest over a nine-day stretch, so everybody, Shaq in particular, should be fresh.
That is if Shaq even plays, with a contest against Memphis the next night. I would bet Shaq doesn’t play both of the games, and the Grizz at least on paper present a bit of a tougher test.
In any case, after a 1-2 stretch against Portland, Denver and San Antonio that was a disappointment in how close the Suns were from winning all three of them, Phoenix now enters a stretch of six straight games it really should win, with the toughest contest being a Jan. 9 showdown against Dallas at US Airways Center that’s a must-win after the Suns were spanked in Dallas earlier.
But as the Suns learned last time they visited Oklahoma City, if they give the kind of effort they put out over the first three quarters, there are no gimme games in the NBA.
The Suns were lucky to pull that one out, but I anticipate a much better effort and a much bigger margin of victory this time around.