Dallas Mavericks (0-2, 0-1 road) vs. OKC Thunder (3-0, 1-0 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 106.8 (11th), Mavs– 93.8 (26th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.4 (12th), Mavs – 110.4 (24th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (11th), Mavs – 99.7 (2nd)
View from the enemy: The Two Man Game
The Thunder have seen the bad guys from Big D twice already, but those didn’t count. This one does, so here’s the real chance at a little payback for the Western Conference Finals. The Mavs are spinning a bit so far, looking a tad complacent after winning their title. But that’s a team that will get it together at any time, and it could start tonight with a statement over the 3-0 Thunder.
Dallas coming in: The Mavs last played Tuesday, getting walloped by Denver.
Three Big Things
1. All eyes on Russ and KD. Tonight’s game is on TNT so you can be sure there will be an iso camera locked on Westbrook and KD during every timeout, high-five or bathroom break. How will Westbrook respond not just to the noise of today, but to his 0-13 performance last night? I get the feeling KD might have a slow night and Westbrook carries OKC. Seems like it would be fitting.
2. Defending Dirk. It was the biggest challenge for the Thunder last season and Serge Ibaka seems to have got a better feel for it. We’ll see Nick Collison, KD, Perk and Ibaka all try their hand at Dirk tonight.
3. Who’s motivated more? The Thunder are 3-0 and are coming off a rough and tumble game in Memphis last night. The Mavs are rested but wounded. Dallas would seem to want to take this as an opportunity to announce they’re fine, but the Thunder don’t tend to drop games easily on their home floor.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Best Friends.