Houston Rockets (2-4, 0-4 road) OKC Thunder (5-2, 3-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 106.7 (9th), Rockets– 104.1 (13th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 106.1 (21st), Rockets – 110.5 (28th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.4 (13th), Rockets – 92.2 (14th)
View from the enemy: Red 94
The Thunder got to rest for two days for the first time this season. They got to practice a little, watch film and hopefully correct some of the issues from the past few games. And they better because they’re about to start their back-to-back-to-back at home against a decent Rockets team.
Houston coming in: The Rockets last played Wednesday getting blown out by the Clippers.
Three Big Things
1. Luis Scola. He’s a problem. He’s always been tough on the Thunder. He’s got incredible footwork, is crafty around the basket and will be a tough matchup for whichever Thunder big tries to guard him. Serge Ibaka will need to stay disciplined with all of Scola’s pump fakes and drop-steps.
2. Free throws. OKC took just a handful against Portland and it cost them. But on top of it, KD only took four and made two. He’s shooting only 75 percent from the free throw line. That’s really, really shocking. He’s due for like a 13-13 game.
3. Defense. The Thunder rank 21st in defensive rating. The team just hasn’t been very good on that end of the floor. It’s about time for a signature defensive win and the Rockets are a good team to do it against. A lot of it will come down to Kyle Lowry. Will Russell Westbrook go one-on-one with him and try and be a bulldog or is he going to play it more straight up?
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Rested Team.