OKC Thunder (9-2, 4-1 road) at New Orleans Hornets (3-6, 1-3 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.4 (2nd), Hornets– 98.7 (24th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 105.5 (23rd), Hornets – 102.9 (18th)
Pace: Thunder – 91.8 (15th), Hornets – 88.4 (27th)
View from the enemy: Hornets 24/7
Five games in six days. I’m not doing anything other than move my fingers around and yell at the TV and I’m worn out. But the Thunder have done a good job so far of being prepared and focused for each game, so despite going on the road for another game, I think OKC will be ready. Everyone has dud games though and the Thunder could be due for one.
New Orleans coming in: The Hornets beat up on Denver last night.
Three Big Things
1. Matchup superiority. There isn’t really a spot on the floor where the Thunder don’t have an advantage. Trevor Ariza is a decent defender, but he’s not KD’s caliber. Jarrett Jack is a nice point guard, but he’s not on Westbrook’s level. And the Hornet bench doesn’t compare to OKC’s.
2. Defending the paint. Without Eric Gordon, the Hornets have to rely mostly on Chris Kaman. Emeka Okafor and Carl Landry scoring in the paint. Whether on scraps like putbacks or on good finds from guards, those three will be the focus for the Hornets offensively.
3. Fatigue. No way around it. The Thunder could be exhausted going into the arena tonight. Five games in six days can’t be easy, especially with the last one being on the road.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Thun-durr.