New Jersey Nets (9-22, 3-13 road) vs. OKC Thunder (21-11, 11-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.5 (8th), Nets – 101.8 (26th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.6 (18th), Nets – 107.3 (17th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.0 (14th), Nets – 89.6 (20th)
View from the enemy: Nets Are Scorching
I feel like I talk about the opportunity for bounce-back all the time. But that’s because the Thunder’s pretty good at it. This season after a loss, the Thunder’s 9-1. That’s seriously good.
And remember the last game against the Nets? Triple overtime, Anthony Morrow, Russell Westbrook, no Kevin Durant… ring any bells? It was quite the win for the Thunder against a fairly bad team. But OKC came out on top in a close game because it’s what it does.
New Jersey coming in: The Nets have split their last four and last played on Monday at home against Orlando.
In the first meeting both Kevin Durant and Devin Harris were out. This time, they’re playing it. I don’t know how much that actually changes things in terms of talent separation, but both teams will be pretty much at full tilt.
Harris is quick and a good pick-and-roll point guard. Russell Westbrook didn’t guard Jordan Farmar all that great the first meeting and defending Harris is a big key. Anthony Morrow is the Nets sharpshooter and if he gets rolling from outside, they become a much better offensive team. (Except he’s still out with a hamstring injury and I missed that somehow.)
Quinton Ross will start out guarding Durant with Travis Outlaw and Stephen Graham also mixing in. No matter who it is really, OKC has a big advantage.
The key battles will come inside where since returning, Nenad Krstic has been pretty good. Brook Lopez shot a ton in the last game and did most his damage from the free throw line so keeping him out of the paint and hoisting jumpers is a key. Kris Humphries is a worker on the glass and can make a difference rebounding.
No reason not to get on the good side at home tonight. A bad team, a stinging loss and a home game. It all adds up to what should be a cruising win.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Up Thunder.