OKC Thunder (15-3, 7-2 road) at Golden State Warriors (6-11, 4-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 107.4 (5th), Warriors– 103.2 (14th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 100.9 (13th), Warriors – 106.4 (26th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.5 (12th), Warriors – 92.1 (13th)
View from the enemy: Warriors World
The Warriors are not a very good team. But you do not just walk into Oracle Arena and expect to win. Good teams like the Bulls and Heat have failed already this season and the Thunder don’t have a great history of winning at Golden State. It’s the first time the Thunder have gone west this season and sometimes, West Coast road trips don’t treat teams well.
Golden State coming in: The Warriors last played Wednesday, beating the Trail Blazers.
Three Big Things
1. Curry and Ellis. It’s an unconventional backcourt pairing, but those two can light you up in a hurry. Thabo Sefolosha has always done a good job guarding Monta Ellis, but give either an inch of space and they’ll be dropping a 25-footer on you. The Thunder need to hold them to something like a combined 12-30 for 40 points and not something like 18-35 for 60.
2. Control. You give the Warriors extra possessions and they will kill you. They’re trying to play better defense under Mark Jackson but they still are offensively focused. Give them rebounds or turn the ball over and you will lose. I remember a game at Golden State last year where the Warriors took some 30 more shots than the Thunder. Can’t let that happen, or anything close to it.
3. Preparation. Focus on the road, focus against bad teams, focus period. The Thunder have been ready consistently at home, but getting ready to go on the road is a bit more of a challenge. The Warriors have a great home court and their fans will be excited. The Thunder need to be ready to go from the tip.
Tip at 9:30 CT. Go Thunder Players.