Toronto Raptors (1-2, 0-1 road) vs. OKC Thunder (1-2, 1-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (17th), Raptors– 105.0 (11th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.8 (13th), Raptors – 101.4 (11th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.3 (21st), Raptors – 93.0 (3rd)
View from the enemy: Raptors Republic
Two good reasons for the Thunder to win: 1) Because it’s a win and winning is better than losing and being 2-2 is way better than being 1-3 and 2) because it increases OKC’s lottery chances seeing as the Thunder own their Raptors 2013 first round pick (top three protected).
What you’d hope to see from the Thunder tonight is a new sense of urgency. The Thunder all talked about effort being the culprit in the loss to the Hawks, so if that’s the case, play with a lot more of it tonight. Don’t let that be your excuse anymore.
Toronto coming in: The Raptors played Sunday, topping the Wolves for their first win.
Three Big Things
1. KD. What do we see out of Kevin Durant tonight? More passing and more creating? Or does he call his own number a bit more and try and assert himself as a scorer? I get the feeling we’re about to see a big game from Durant. For one, the Raptors don’t really have anyone good to check him and for two, I think KD’s ready to bust out and drop at least a 30-spot.
2. Westbrook. Bad Russell, then Good Russell, then Bad Russell. According to the pattern, it should be time for a very good game from Russell Westbrook. He’s the head of the Thunder snake and as he goes, the team often goes. If he’s reckless and turning the ball over, the Thunder often follow. But if he makes good decisions and gets OKC into good offense, the team almost always plays better.
3. Rotations. Does Scott Brooks keep playing with it and try new pieces? Do we see some Perry Jones III, some Reggie Jackson or even some Jeremy Lamb? Or does he maybe slim it down and cut it to nine guys? Obviously Brooks is looking for something to work with his bench and an early November game against the Raptors should be a good time to sort some things out.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Election.