Toronto Raptors (19-49, 5-27 road) vs. OKC Thunder (45-23, 24-9 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.8 (6th), Raptors– 106.2 (19th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.2 (16th), Raptors – 112.1 (29th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.8 (12th), Raptors – 93.2 (11th)
View from the enemy: Raptors Republic
Remember how the Raptors beat the Thunder? Yeah that probably shouldn’t have happened. So here’s a chance to remedy that. The Thunder of course are hot, winning six straight as they push for the division title. So just like Friday versus Charlotte, there’s no room to take a night off. And I don’t suspect the Thunder will.
Toronto coming in: The Raptors have lost seven of 10 and last played Friday.
Not a ton of talent on the Raptors starting five, but with DeMar DeRozan playing pretty solid and Andrea Bargnani being a tough matchup for anyone, Toronto might give OKC some headaches. I’m interested to see how Kendrick Perkins plays against someone like Bargnani who is a perimeter, more finesse big man. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Serge Ibaka get the assignment on Bargnani and probably go with Perk on Amir Johnson.
James Johnson will have the pleasure of checking Kevin Durant and while Johnson isn’t a bad defender, he’s going to struggle handling KD off the dribble I think. And Durant should be able to shoot over the top any time he wants.
Jose Calderon lit OKC up pretty good the last meeting, but Russell Westbrook should attack him early and often. We might see Leandro Barbosa or even DeRozan check Westbrook, which is why James Harden could once again prove to be a very important part to winning.
Tip at 6:00 CT. Go American Thunder.