Los Angeles Clippers (21-35, 5-21 road) vs. OKC Thunder (35-19, 19-8 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.6 (5th), Clippers– 106.3 (19th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 108.6 (16th), Clippers – 109.4 (22nd)
Pace: Thunder – 93.0 (12th), Clippers – 92.2 (14th)
View from the enemy: ClipperBlog
Yes, Blake Griffin is returning to Oklahoma tonight. Yes, it’s a big deal. But a bigger deal is the Thunder starting off the post-All-Star season in a good way. It’ll be neat to see Blake back in Oklahoma, but really, it’s about the boys in white, not the one in red.
OKC needs to get off on the right foot, building on the momentum from the Kings game. The team had a big weekend with four players taking part, but it’s back to business now. And that business is beating the Clippers, who are 3-0 in OKC.
Los Angeles coming: Before the break, the Clippers had dropped three of four.
Word is Blake Griffin has a pretty bad cold from sleep deprivation and all the busyness of the weekend. He’s still supposed to play, but he might be under the weather. He could cut one of his arms off though and he’d still be a nightmare for the Thunder. Jeff Green is overmatched and really Serge Ibaka is the only guy that has the ability to check him. I’d expect OKC to go big a lot tonight.
Chris Kaman is back and despite him taking way too many shots, he at least gives the Clips another offensive option without Eric Gordon.
Rasual Butler and Al-Farouq Aminu will try and check Kevin Durant, which will probably go poorly for LA. And Russell Westbrook should get the best of the Clippers.
In terms of starting five, the Clippers have some talent, even with Gordon out. But their bench is truly horrible and with OKC’s being one of the best, I’d expect a run to start the second quarter when both second units match up. If OKC does that, the Thunder could cruise to an easy win. But if they are ready and don’t jump there, this could be close.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Thunder.
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