We've been dealing with a few tech issues here for the past week. My apologies for the lack of updates. We'll take the next couple of days catching up on opponents around the league, unless we're destroyed by another serpent. Cross your fingers.

Today's installment of Better Know An Opponent focuses on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let's take a look.... MORE →

 

In a fascinating conversation with Grantland's Zach Lowe, Ben Alamar, former director of analytics of the Oklahoma City Thunder and author of Sports Analytics, Alamar discusses the team's analytic practices, specifically how they related to drafting Russell Westbrook in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Alamar says he was in favor of drafting Westbrook over Lopez, and though he admits he overstated his position beyond what the data should have allowed, he made the right decision. The Thunder took Westbrook 4th overall, and Lopez ended up sliding to the Nets at 10th.

Some really cool nuggets in here, both about how the Thunder broke down draft prospects analytically. Take it in below:

 

Brook Lopez Brooklyn Nets

The Nets will miss Brook Lopez, but he's not tonight's X-Factor. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanches)

OK, so two of the most important Brooklyn Nets players -- Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez -- are out tonight with the flu and the foot, respectively. The team's playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are 14-4 and the reigning Western Conference Champions.

So that's probably a bad sign. But it's not the be-all-end-all. Here's four reasons why you should watch tonight's game... MORE →

 

Memories... (AP/Kevin P. Casey)

The 11-5 Brooklyn Nets take on the 14-4 Oklahoma City Thunder tonight, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Barclays has been a comfortable home for Brooklyn so far, but they haven't played a team as good as Oklahoma City, the reigning Western Conference Champions led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder outscore opponents by almost ten points per game and rank 2nd in offensive efficiency and 7th in defensive efficiency in the NBA. Or, to put it simply: they're really really good. The Nets might not even have to blow a 22-point lead to lose this one at home!

Joining me to talk about tonight's matchup from the other side is Royce Young, lead blogger at ESPN TrueHoop Affiliate Daily Thunder, repping the Oklahoma City Thunder. Daily Thunder is one of the best team blogs on the internet, bar none -- if you want any Thunder news, info, or community, that's the place to be.

Onward!

Royce Young on the Oklahoma City Thunder

 
Devin: Seems like business as usual so far this season for Oklahoma City -- they're 14-4 and cruising. Have there been any major changes this season to the formula, or is it just a continuation of last year's success?

Royce:... MORE →