OKC Thunder (41-23, 18-14 road) at Cleveland Cavaliers (12-52, 8-24 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.8 (5th), Cavs– 101.9 (29th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 108.2 (16th), Cavs – 112.7 (30th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.9 (12th), Cavs – 93.6 (10th)
View from the enemy: Cavs: The Blog
Hey, remember that the Cavs beat the Lakers a few weeks ago. Just put that in that back of your mind before you go ahead and cross this one off.
Now, that said, there’s no excuse to lose this game. Road or home, losing to a team as poor as the Cavs are just isn’t an option. I’m not saying the Thunder has to look fantastic or roll to a double-digit stomping, but just don’t lose. That’s the key.
Cleveland coming in: The Cavs have lost, well, 52 of 64. Let’s just put it that way. They last played Wednesday.
The two players on the Cavalier roster OKC needs to fear, or at least be aware of are Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions (Davis is questionable because of a personal matter though). Both are capable playmakers and scorers and that can get rolling and carry a team.
J.J. Hickson is a strong player inside, but Serge Ibaka matches him well. Samardo Samuels is the other inside, um, presence.
I do worry about Daniel Gibson a bit just because he can get hot from outside and hit a handful of 3s and keep an otherwise comfortable lead, uncomfortable. But up and down this Cavs roster, there’s little talent. Alonzo Gee can’t guard Kevin Durant. Russell Westbrook should have a big night. And the Cavs shouldn’t score well at all.
The Thunder absolutely stomped Cleveland in the first meeting and I’d venture to say the Cavs are worse now than then. Byron Scott still has them trying though so that’s the only reason you have to play with focus. And these guys are still professional basketball players so the term “suck” is all relative here.
Tip at noon CT. Go Brunch Thunder.