OKC Thunder (23-13, 10-7 road) at Dallas Mavericks (26-8, 14-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.8 (9th), Mavericks – 107.9 (10th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.1 (17th), Mavericks – 102.7 (7th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (9th), Mavericks – 90.7 (23rd)
View from the enemy: The Two Man Game
Another shot. For real this time guys, right? No more bad fourth quarters, okay?
The Thunder gets the hurting Mavericks again, just a little over a week after the disappointing loss at home where Dirk Nowitzki was hurt. Dirk is still out and won’t play tonight, plus Caron Butler is out for the season after knee surgery. So this right here is what you’d call a prime opportunity to get a nice road win over a good team.
Dallas coming in: After losing three straight without Dirk, the Mavs have won their last two, including a win over Portland most recently on Tuesday.
Without Dirk, the Mavs kind of have to rearrange to get a good lineup. Shawn Marion moves to power forward where Jeff Green actually matches up relatively well with him. The best part about that is that Marion moves off of Kevin Durant and DeShawn Stevenson gets KD. That’s a nice thing for OKC.
Jason Terry moves into the starting lineup at shooting guard to play next to Jason Kidd. Terry murdered the Thunder late in the last meeting, so he’ll obviously be the focus of the OKC defense. James Harden had some problems with him, but I’d rather see Harden get minutes on Terry than Thabo because Harden will make Terry work on the defensive end too.
Tyson Chandler was a problem inside for OKC in the first meeting so it’s key for Serge Ibaka, Nenad Krstic and whoever else to do some work on the glass.
The Thunder hasn’t dropped three straight yet this season. Under normal circumstances, I’d say they have their work cut out for them if they want to keep that up. Except the Mavs are in a tough spot right now, so the Thunder must capitalize. A loss here isn’t the end of the world, but it sure would be nice to get back on track.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Local Professional Basketball Team.