Philadelphia 76ers (15-18, 6-11 road) vs. OKC Thunder (24-7, 16-3 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 113.0 (1st), Sixers– 102.6 (21st)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 104.0 (11th), Sixers – 105.3 (14th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.5 (8th), Sixers – 90.4 (23rd)
View from the enemy: Philadunkia
Considering how the last home game went, you’d think — you’d think — the Thunder would come out tonight kind of angry. But that doesn’t always happen. Because honestly, I thought the energy Wednesday against the Nets was good, it was just the defense wasn’t.
The Sixers always give OKC a tough game. They play hard, they compete and they’ve proven they’re capable of beating good teams.
That’s pretty much it. The Sixers are going to play hard and you can’t expect to cruise to a win by default. The Thunder really have played fairly inconsistently the last week or so, going 3-3 with a couple of those wins being of the ugly variety (Phoenix, Dallas). A good game is in order tonight, I think.
Philadelphia coming in: Played Wednesday in Phoenix, losing to the Suns.
Three Big Things
1. Bouncing. Obviously it’s about responding positively to the disaster that was the Nets game. A loss and we might all go bananas.
2. Matching. The Sixers like to start Thad Young at power forward, which by default kind of makes them a smallball team. How does OKC go about defending that? It’s kind of a shame though Andrew Bynum isn’t playing so that Perk can’t have a night of triumph showing what he’s best at. Because assuming Scott Brooks gives Perk his usual big minutes, the Thunder kind of matchup better if Bynum were playing. Which is kind of stupid.
3. Crowd participation. I, for one, am intrigued to see what the crowd looks like tonight. The Thunder are going head-to-head with Oklahoma football who of course is playing in the Cotton Bowl. Maybe that just means the entire arena is full of O-State fans, but still, there’s a pretty big distraction going on in the state tonight and it’ll be interesting to see what the crowd looks like.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Play Better.