Oklahoma City Thunder (7-6) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (9-3)
View from the enemy: Forum Blue and Gold
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 104.5 (21st), Lakers – 105.9 (16th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.1 (6th), Lakers – 101.8 (8th)
Pace: Thunder – 91.8 (2oth), Lakers – 94.6 (7th)
(Note: This pregame was written earlier in the week, so keep that in mind if anything is off.)
Here’s some good news: In L.A., Oklahoma City is 1-0! Good omen? Good omen.
I’m sure we haven’t forgotten the first meeting. And I bet the team hasn’t either. The problem is, it’s Sunday night at the Staples Center and the Lakers don’t often lose in this circumstance. Not saying it can’t be done, but it’s not an easy haul.
I like OKC at the point. Derek Fisher is a good defender, but he struggles with lightning quick guys and I think Russell Westbrook qualifies. That’s the one big star to the Thunder side. Obviously, the Lakers have the advantage at two-guard, but I’m sure we all remember Thabo’s stellar game against Kobe. And if OKC has any visions of getting a win, that will need to happen again.
Ron Artest is a tough match for Durant because Artest is such a bull. He can get underneath you and never, ever lets you roll off a screen or run the baseline without getting bumped. Durant played well against L.A. last time – for a half.
Jeff Green has always had trouble with Lamar Odom, but he did much better in the first meeting. Really, the place OKC struggled the most was inside against Andrew Bynum. Nenad Krstic can’t guard him, Etan Thomas can’t guard him. The best hope is to suck Bynum away from the lane with Krstic’s jumper and maybe get the Laker big man in foul trouble.
It’s a chance to make another bold statement, though hopes aren’t high. But hey, who really knows what the eff this team is going to do on a night-to-night basis?
Tip at 8:30 CST. Go Thundermen.