OKC Thunder (33-9, 14-6 road) at Golden State Warriors (25-15, 13-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 113.1 (1st), Warriors– 106.2 (11th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.4 (8th), Warriors – 104.9 (13th)
Pace: Thunder – 92.6 (8th), Warriors – 93.8 (7th)
View from the enemy: Warriors World
Before this road trip started, when you looked it over and paper, this was the game to circle. This was the apparent toughest test on the list. The Thunder would be coming off a big game the night before in LA and would have to turn around to compete on the road against a good Warriors team. When you’re mapping out expectations for the trip, it was pretty sensible to put an L on this game.
But now that it’s here, you get greedy. The Thunder didn’t have to struggle against the Clippers and with Chris Paul out in that game, it feels like this is another opportunity to make a loud statement. The Warriors are a very solid team and they’re going to be fired up about this one. It’s a chance for them to grab a little attention and you know they know that.
Which makes this even scarier.
Golden State coming in: The Warriors last played Monday, also beating the Clippers.
Three Big Things
1. Perimeter defense. The Warriors can absolutely light you up from the outside. Along with OKC, they’re one of the best perimeter shooting teams in the league, hitting almost 40 percent of their 3s. They have multiple shooters to roll out so defending the drive and kick will be necessary.
2. David Lee. He’s an active rebounder and a player that can pile up second chance points on you if you’re not paying attention. The Thunder haven’t exactly rebounded well the past few games so this certainly an area to watch.
3. Kevin Durant. He almost always torches the Warriors. Last time these teams met, he put up his first career triple-double. He averages close to 35 a game against Golden State and with the Warriors lacking a quality wing defender to check him, KD could be set to go off again.
Tip at 9:30 CT. Go Back-to-back.