Los Angeles Clippers (8-2, 3-0 road) vs. OKC Thunder (8-3, 5-2 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 109.5 (3rd), Clippers– 108.5 (6th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder –102.5 (12th), Clippers – 99.0 (3rd)
Pace: Thunder – 92.9 (9th), Clippers – 93.6 (7th)
View from the enemy: Clipper Blog
It’s pretty simple: The Thunder need to win this game. Not for the win-loss column really, or for playoff seeding or to save their season really. But for self-confidence and reassurance to fans, they need to win this one.
The Clippers coming in: The Clippers have won six in a row, beating San Antonio Monday.
Three Big Things
1. Bench work. The Grizzlies worked the Thunder over with their second unit and with the Clipper having an even better bench with Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe leading the way, Kevin Martin and company have their work cut out for them. If OKC’s bench loses the second and third quarters big, the starters won’t be able to dig out of a hole. Not with Chris Paul running the show.
2. Keep moving. Lots of sharing the last two games. Lots of good ball movement. The secret cause to the Thunder offense is more passing, re-passing and passing, and less standing and dribbling.
3. Lineups. The Clippers can create mismatches, especially against OKC’s starting five. Scott Brooks needs to be willing to flex and adjust tonight, needs to go small and use his bigs in the right situations. Thabo could be a weapon against LA’s perimeter scorers, but he can’t be on the floor with Perk and Ibaka (other than starting, of course).
Tip at 6:30 CT. Go Win.