New Orleans Hornets (3-14, 2-5 road) vs. OKC Thunder (14-3, 7-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 107.2 (5th), Hornets– 98.3 (25th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.0 (13th), Hornets – 103.5 (18th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.5 (12th), Hornets – 88.3 (29th)
View from the enemy: Hornets 24/7
Another subpar team comes to The Peake. Which should mean Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook should plan on only playing roughly three quarters. After the home loss to Portland, the Thunder haven’t played a close home game. Blowouts to the Rockets, Spurs, Knicks and Pistons and now another less than stellar opponent comes into OKC.
But for whatever reason, I don’t expect this one to go as easily. I have no reason really, but just knowing the NBA, it doesn’t stay easy very often.
New Orleans coming in: The Hornets last played Monday losing to the Spurs.
Three Big Things
1. Talent difference. The Thunder are far and away a better team than the Hornets. Without Eric Gordon, New Orleans is really lacking much of a scoring punch. But sometimes teams like that can be dangerous because they try and make every player a weapon. Granted, that means the Hornets are relying on Jason Smith and Marco Belinelli.
2. Turnovers. It hasn’t really killed the Thunder in that many ways this season, but even in blowing out the Pistons, OKC turned it over 19 times. It would be nice to trim that.
3. Kaman and Okafor. The way the Hornets are going to stay in the game is Chris Kaman scoring and Okafor killing the boards. Stop both those guys from doing those things and it should be a cakewalk.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Thunder Ball.