OKC Thunder (13-39, 3-21 road) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (31-19, 18-5 home)
TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM)
Offensive Rating: Thunder: 103.3 (27th), Portland: 113.5 (2nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder: 109.3 (21st), Portland: 109.4 (22nd)
Pace: Thunder: 93.8 (7th), Portland: 86.3 (30th)
There’s not much to preview here because these two teams just played less than a week ago. We know what the Blazers are going to try to do offensively and we know what OKC needs to do to combat it. In the first meeting, OKC led wire to wire, executing offensively and getting out to a nice lead and basically running the Blazers out of the building. Portland didn’t make their open looks and for the most part, those came few and far between. The Thunder had more intensity and passion than Portland but that component may not be there for OKC again tonight.
The main difference is that this time the game is in Portland where the Blazers are really good. And on top of that, the Thunder are coming off a grueling 48 minute slugger with the Lakers last night. So add up OKC’s heavy legs, Portland’s home court advantage and the obvious revenge factor and all signs point to a solid Blazer win.
But we’re talking about Scott Brooks’ Thunder here. These guys don’t go down easily. It will be really tough, really tough, to beat Portland again tonight because there’s so many factors working against the Thunder. But the goal, much like last night, is just to put it out there for 48 minutes. OKC proved that it can stay in a game with the best in the league while not even playing that well. So add in that scrappiness but maybe shoot better tonight and the Thunder could get it done. I said could.
I’m pretty interested to see how Kyle Weaver does in his second go-around against Brandon Roy. Last Friday, Roy scored 32, but it came on 12-27 shooting. Weaver pestered Roy, slapping at the ball and keeping a hand in his face constantly. But after taking a beating from Kobe Bryant the night before, I wonder if Weaver is going to be ready physically and mentally to take on the very talented Roy.
Let’s hope the Thunder are ready because the Blazers are good and they’re going to be out for blood to get vengence on this OKC group that “embarrassed” them last Friday.
Tip is at 9:00 CST. Go Thun-da.