OKC Thunder (20-5, 11-4 road) at Sacramento Kings (9-16, 6-4 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.0 (4th), Kings– 98.3 (27th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (17th), Kings – 107.7 (27th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.3 (4th), Kings – 93.0 (8th)
View from the enemy: Cowbell Kingdom
A scary game for the Thunder. The Kings are on national TV, which doesn’t happen often. Which means their fans will be fired up. This is as close to a playoff game as they’re going to get to this season. They’re even blacking it out with t-shirts.
The Thunder had a day off after tiresome wins over Golden State and Portland, but the mental fatigue of being on the road for a while could be settling in. This is another back-to-back with a game in Utah awaiting OKC tomorrow night. Getting ready to play night after night can sometimes be a challenge and I think this one could be a little tough to come out with.
Sacramento coming in: The Kings last played Tuesday losing a close one to the Wolves.
Three Big Things
1. DeMarcus Cousins vs. Kendrick Perkins. Perk has built a reputation for being one of the best low post defenders in the league, but Cousins has a really well developed game inside. Plus, I think there’s a good chance the two might try and strangle each other at some point.
2. Rebound differential. The Thunder are a team that’s prone to giving up a large number of offensive rebounds and with Cousins’ ability to get on the offensive glass, the Kings will look to win this one by grabbing extra possessions. The Thunder can win while being outrebounded because they’re so good offensively, but it better not be a wide margin.
3. Preparation. I already mentioned it, but the Thunder need to be ready. The Warriors started on an 8-0 run before the Thunder woke up the other night. The Kings have weapons that can score the ball and this is a big night for that team. They want to beat the league’s best and do it on national television.
Tip at 9:30 CT. Go Loud City.