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John Rohde: Loud City will take center stage

By John Rohde Modified: April 22, 2010 at 4:49 am •  Published: April 22, 2010

/> Thunder fans are making their postseason debut, which is no time rest on their regular-season laurels.

In order to reach full-decibel level, perhaps some locals need to be provoked, need to be shoved, need to be taunted. OK, fine.

→Kobe Bryant has said Ford Center crowds are overrated. "Over-rated,” Bryant shouted, while looking skyward and cupping his mouth as if he were howling at the moon.

→Lakers coach Phil Jackson recently complained the Ford Center crowd is receiving superstar treatment and getting all the foul calls.

(Neither of these is true, of course.)

The fact the Thunder trails 2-0 ought to be good enough to stoke the home fire.

There’s nothing better than a college basketball crowd showing up at an NBA game. Local college fans should have plenty of pent-up energy from last season, particularly OU fans. Not to sound like a therapist, but those fans need to act on those feelings and let it all out tonight.

There were times this season the impressionable Thunder seemed a bit uptight in front of its home crowd. The Thunder was 23-18 on the road and a rather modest 27-14 inside the Ford Center.

There should be no such worries tonight. The Thunder was home-schooled this season and will not hyperventilate.

Some simple ground rules for those who attend: No one arrives late; no one leaves early; no one sits until the Thunder scores its first basket and it’s strongly suggested fans remain standing thereafter.

A blue T-shirt and white pom-pom will be waiting at every seat tonight.

What the Thunder wants more than anything right now is a chance to return to Staples Center — which would mean a win tonight, or Saturday night, or both. Game 3 belongs to the Thunder, and the home crowd will be a big reason why.

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

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