In the game of basketball, confidence is a big difference maker, as it can make or break you. It’s hard not to relate it to the NCAA tournament with every year there being an unexpected Cinderella team. This year that team was Florida Golf Coast and Wichita State, as both teams played with loads and loads of confidence.
With the playoffs starting mid-to-late April, Thursday will be Oklahoma City’s last regular season chance at San Antonio. As known, the Thunder are 1-2 against the Spurs this year, with losses on March 11th, and opening night on November 1st. Oklahoma City’s only win against San Antonio came all the way back in December.
I know what some are thinking: Why this game? It’s just another regular season game….
This one is different. Thursday’s game has much more meaning then just another win or loss in Oklahoma City’s win/loss column.
If the Thunder lose Thursday’s game, all things go even more South. With bad loses through the year like Friday’s loss in Minnesota, this young team will get not only critized and questioned badly, but their heads will drop and their confidence level with go South. Questions if letting James Harden walk from Oklahoma City was a horrible idea, or if Scott Brooks is a good coach or not will arise. Most importantly, everyone will hop onto the San Antonio bandwagon and forget who the 2012 Western Conference champs are.
However, on the retrospect, if Oklahoma City’s wins on Thursday night, this team’s confidence level will boast in a big way. Then, we can do this in Game 5 in San Antonio again, and we can start worrying about Miami.
At the moment, San Antonio is three games ahead of the Thunder in the Western Conference. To me, that means nada. Nothing. Because come playoff time, if both teams meet again in the Western Conference Finals, it’s about who’s hotter and who’s playing better basketball at the moment, not about who had the better record or who is the higher seed.
9:30 PM ET on TNT. I think you may want to tune in….