Golden State Warriors (32-42, 9-28 road) vs. OKC Thunder (48-24, 27-10 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.9 (6th), Warriors – 108.2 (12th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 107.1 (15th), Warriors – 111.1 (27th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.7 (12th), Warriors – 94.8 (5th)
View from the enemy: Warriors World
The last meeting between the Thunder and Warriors was one of OKC’s most ridiculous games of the season. And I mean that in a bad way. The Thunder were killed 20-2 on the offensive boards (!) and the Warriors attempted 40 (forty!) more shots than OKC. Somehow, the Thunder still only lost by six. I have no idea how.
This game closes the long homestand and I think going 5-1 is very good. Some saw 6-0 as the only option, but slip ups happen. Let’s just hope the Thunder got it out of the way with the loss to the Raptors. Because the Warriors are a capable team. They score in bunches and if Monta Ellis or Steph Curry gets hot, they’re tough to stop.
Golden State coming in: The Warriors have lost six of eight, but have won their last two, the last game coming Sunday.
Monta Ellis versus Russell Westbrook. Fun. Speed on speed. Westbrook will have to bring his defense, otherwise Ellis can go for 40. Vice versa though.
There will be some interchanging between Westbrook on Ellis and Westbrook on Stephen Curry. Either way, both Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden will have to play well defensively. I truly like Harden more on Curry/Ellis than Thabo. Harden is quicker and will pretty both a lot more offensively too.
Dorell Wright is an underrated defender and has the length to challenge Kevin Durant’s jumper. And Wright can shoot too, as he’s one of the league’s top 3-point men right now. David Lee hurt OKC badly inside last time, but that wasn’t with Serge Ibaka starting. Nick Collison is out so the bench will be lighter, but that either means OKC goes small with KD at the 4, or big with Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed playing together. We’ll see.
The Warriors are a pretty decent team. At home. On the road, they pretty much stink. So there’s no reason to not close out this homestand with a nice victory. The team is hot. Defensively, OKC will be challenged by the Warriors. But the Thunder should certainly win.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Thundurrr.