Los Angeles Clippers (26-19, 11-11 road) vs. OKC Thunder (34-12, 19-4 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.3 (1st), Clippers– 107.8 (5th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.1 (12th), Clippers – 105.8 (21st)
Pace: Thunder – 93.3 (4th), Clippers – 89.1 (28th)
View from the enemy: ClipperBlog
Another game requiring a bounce back. Good thing the Thunder are 10-1 in such situations. Bad thing it’s against the Clippers, a team the Thunder have some issues matching up with. There’s Chris Paul, who Russell Westbrook has difficult guarding (who doesn’t?) and then there’s Blake Griffin who the Thunder have issues with (ahem…).
The fact the Clips run the pick-and-roll well, have quality 3-point shooters and are basically San Antonio-lite means it’s going to be a big challenge. Good thing is, the Clippers aren’t a good defensive team at all.
(A note on Derek Fisher: It’s unknown if he’ll be in uniform tonight, but I have heard that he might’ve had his physical early this afternoon, opening that up as a possibility.)
The Clippers coming in: Lob City played against the Pacers last night and lost.
Three Big Things
1. Posters. OK, so there’s no way to forget what Blake Griffin did the last time OKC played the Clippers. The question is, does anyone on the Thunder throw a high hard one inside to Griffin for it? Does the crowd boo him mercilessly? Or, does Griffin maybe do it again?
2. Patrolling the perimeter. The Clippers whipped OKC from the outside in the first meeting, hitting 13-25 from 3, including four in about 45 seconds at the end of the first half. Fall asleep on the Clips, and they’ll make you pay. Granted, no Chauncey Billups, but I actually think Nick Young might be an upgrade, because he’s a little better fit.
3. KD. He had his worst shooting performance of the season last night against Utah and went 0-7 in the fourth quarter. The Clippers have never been able to guard him. I smell a big game.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Veteran Leadership.