View from the enemy: Orlando Magic Daily
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (23rd), Magic – 108.8 (9th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 99.5 (4th), Magic – 103.4 (13th)
Pace: Thunder – 90.6 (25th), Magic – 91.7 (22nd)
Onward. A goal was to come back to OKC with a split. Now that’s locked away. So a sweep… well, that would be outstanding.
History would say that since Oklahoma City played so well last night that it will come out flat and under-perform tonight. But that’s only happened when a lackluster team follows the good game. So now you’ve got a really good team, with the Thunder coming off a big win. So I guess I would expect a loss, which means OKC will probably win which means I have no idea. I guess. I just don’t know what to think anymore.
What’s most scary is the thought of the Thunder’s 28-point kicking fresh on the Magic’s mind. Stan Van Gundy had some stronger words after that one, as did Dwight Howard. Oh, and now Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis are back. So Orlando is almost full tilt, except that Jameer Nelson is hurt again and will miss 4-6 weeks.
Can Russell Westbrook start to put solid back-to-back games together? I mean, I guess he kind of already did, but you know what I’m getting at. This is a good opportunity as he’ll have Jason Williams (not this one or this one… this one) guarding him. And White Chocolate isn’t exactly known for his stiff D. Thabo gets another tough assignment in guarding Vince Carter. I actually like the matchup for Thabo, because he frustrates jumpshooters with his length. And Carter isn’t near the slasher he was once was. Carter is going to look to spot up shoot and Thabo can handle that.
I think Mickael Pietrus is an underrated defender and will give Durant a little trouble tonight. Not to say KD won’t get his 25, because he’s done that in all but one game this year. Plus Matt Barnes is a pretty tough defender and he’ll spell Pietrus. I actually wouldn’t be all that shocked if Jeff Green didn’t take Pietrus and KD take Rashard Lewis. It might make for a better match on the Thunder’s end.
Obviously nobody matches Howard, but if OKC goes at it the same way as last time, meaning SWARM SWARM SWARM, then the Thunder can maybe limit the big guy. OKC either caught a break or made a break last time, by forcing Orlando into a horrid 3-16 game from 3. And that’s their game. They’ve got Ryan Anderson, Lewis and Carter all back and ready to fire so that’s going to be key.
Sweeping this Florida trip would open some eyes for sure. This team is hungry and they intend to do it. But winning a fourth straight on the road is never easy, especially in the House of Howard.
Tip at 6:00 CST. Go Brooms.