Cleveland Cavaliers (2-4, 1-3 road) vs. OKC Thunder (4-2, 3-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 105.6 (9th), Cavs– 102.4 (15th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 98.5 (5th), Cavs – 107.1 (26th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.9 (11th), Cavs – 96.2 (1st)
View from the enemy: Cavs: The Blog
Question: Is this the most interesting matchup yet at home this season? The Hawks are definitely better than the Cavs and there’s more history with the Blazers, but in terms of intriguing players, the Cavs bring the best roster, right? Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters is probably the most interesting group to play in OKC this season.
The point I’m getting at here is that I would hope that the home crowd is a little more into this one than the past couple. I don’t think OKC’s crowds have been up to their previous standards with the first couple home games, but I excuse it because of the lackluster opponents. No stars, no real intriguing matchups. Damien Lillard, sure, but he’s a rookie that most people hadn’t heard much about.
But Irving vs. Westbrook, Varejao vs. Perk and Ibaka, Waiters vs. Thabo — that’s pretty fun. It’s a 6 p.m. Sunday game which always lack a bit of energy, but I’m pretty excited to watch this one myself.
Cleveland coming in: The Cavs played Friday losing to Phoenix.
Three Big Things
1. Cavs pick-and-roll. Scott Brooks talked about it some Saturday and hammered home the point that the Thunder really respect the Cavs in the pick-and-roll. Irving is brilliant and with Westbrook being a gambler, this could be where the Cavs do most of their damage.
2. Rebounding. The other place the Cavs are going to hurt the Thunder? On the offensive glass. Varejao is a beast on the boards and youngsters Tristan Thompson and Samardo Samuels play with a lot of energy. Expect KD to work hard on the defensive glass again, but if OKC’s bigs don’t put in their work, the Cavs could pile up a number of second chance points.
3. Energy, effort, excitement. The Thunder keep talking about effort and energy. They keep saying it needs to be better. Well, here’s another chance. I really don’t think OKC’s played a good game yet this season and maybe that’s best of the lack of energy and excitement. It’s about time for Westbrook to put up points, Durant to score and the Thunder to get on and make some plays.
Tip at 6:00 CT. Go Sunday Thunder.