New Orleans Hornets (32-18, 12-13 road) vs. OKC Thunder (30-17, 17-7 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.9 (8th), Hornets – 105.4 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 108.4 (18th), Hornets – 101.8 (3rd)
Pace: Thunder – 93.1 (12th), Hornets – 89.3 (28th)
View from the enemy: Hornets 24/7
The Hornets made it to Oklahoma City despite it having turned to Antarctica this week, so it’s game on. And it’s a big one too. I know the crowd will be a little sparser than usual because of the horrific conditions, but whoever makes it, be loud. This is a big game for the Thunder. In the standings, for pride reasons and to also get back on track.
The Thunder’s won two of three but two had to go to overtime against bad teams and even though the Heat are very good and the game was very close, the way the game finished put a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.
New Orleans coming in: The Hornets have dropped two of three after winning 10 straight. They played last night in New Orleans, beating the Wizards.
It kind of feels like the Thunder’s played the Hornets 45 times already this season. We know about them. David West? Good. Chris Paul? Good. Trevor Ariza? Streaky, so sometimes good. Emeka Okafor? Injured? Wow, that’s new, and helpful.
There’s a lot of talk about Ariza having handled Kevin Durant well the past three meetings (KD is averaging around 24.0 per game on below 40 percent shooting) but really that last game, the Hornets just did a great TEAM job of forcing Durant away from the basket. They switched everything and Paul did a great job on Durant.
Of course the Russell Westbrook matchup with CP3 is marquee and something we all can’t wait to watch again. It’s physical, nasty and extremely competitive. I can’t wait to see it again.
West absolutely kills the Thunder and Scott Brooks likes to use Serge Ibaka on him. The game will likely be won and lost in the matchup with West. The Thunder has to limit him as much as possible.
Big game for both teams and something that will probably have a little extra edge to it after what happened the last time they met. KD surely wants to remedy the meltdown late where OKC didn’t even get a shot off with a chance to win. Hopefully it doesn’t even come to that this time.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go ThunderSnow.