OKC Thunder (5-0, 2-0 road) at Dallas Mavericks (1-4, 1-2 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.5 (8th), Mavs– 98.2 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.7 (15th), Mavs – 106.4 (21st)
Pace: Thunder – 94.0 (10th), Mavs – 95.7 (5th)
View from the enemy: The Two Man Game
I keep telling myself that at some point, the Mavericks are going to snap out of it. I thought it was happening against Oklahoma City, but then Kevin Durant did his thing. Following that, Dallas picked up its first win against Toronto, but then got worked by the Wolves. As constructed, the Mavs are still a good team, but probably not anywhere near the team they were last season.
Still, they have that No. 41 guy and they’re always dangerous.
Dallas coming in: The Mavs played and lost to the Wolves last night, meaning those old legs might be feeling it a bit.
Three Big Things
1. The perimeter. The Thunder controlled the Mavs pretty well in the first meeting, but Dallas worked back into the game by getting things going from outside a bit. Jason Terry can heat up in a heartbeat, so containing him will go a long way in the Thunder taking down the Mavs again.
2. Russell Westbrook. He looked to get back to being himself against Phoenix, but Dallas has always done a good job of bottling him. He put together a nice few minutes at the end of the first game, but OKC really needs Westbrook to show up for four quarters.
3. Turnovers. The Thunder probably would’ve beat Dallas by 15 if not for 26 turnovers that led to 29 Maverick points. Valuing the basketball has been an issue for OKC so far this season, but that’s not new. The Thunder turn the ball over a lot. That’s just life. OKC’s second in the league right now turning it over 18.4 times a game. The Thunder are better than the Mavs, unless they give Dallas a bunch of extra possessions.
Tip at 7:30 CT. Go Up the Thunder.