OKC Thunder (19-10, 9-4 road) at Charlotte Bobcats (9-18, 6-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.7 (9th), Bobcats– 100.9 (28th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.5 (18th), Bobcats – 106.7 (17th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.0 (14th), Bobcats – 91.0 (21st)
View from the enemy: Queen City Hoops
Let me just point this out first: The Bobcats turned the ball over 29 times Monday night against the Wizards in a 33-point loss. So that’s out there. That goes two ways: A) It means the Bobcats are terrible and on the verge of completely imploding meaning Oklahoma City should walk to a win or B) Larry Brown will, um, motivate his team into playing better tonight.
I feel like the latter is happening. Just seems to be the way things go sometimes for the Thunder.
Charlotte coming in: Again, the Cats just lost to Washington last night by 33 and have lost five of six, including the last three.
The Kevin Durant-Gerald Wallace matchup will most certainly be a good one. Wallace is physical, tough and never takes a possession off. He’s going to hound KD, but Durant should be able to shoot over the top. It’s key for KD to catch the ball on the move tonight and not just try and isolate on Wallace.
Russell Westbrook has played a little less incredible the past few games and tonight would be a good chance to break back out. D.J. Augustin is smaller and not a great defender. Westbrook will probably try and muscle him.
The Bobcat offense sort of goes as Stephen Jackson does, so he’s going to be key. Thabo will have to take away his passing lanes and not let him get those open looks from outside.
Charlotte lacks scoring and doesn’t have a great inside presence. An X-factor for them is Tyrus Thomas. If he gets minutes and plays well, they’re a much tougher team. When he doesn’t and it’s a heavy dose of Dominic McGuire and DeSagana Diop, things don’t go as well for the Bobcats.
The Thunder has played well on the road this season and there’s no reason to think they shouldn’t handle business tonight. Let’s just hope the bad Cats show up.
Tip at 6:00 CT. Go Thundercats.