Thunder (38-12, 15-9 road) at Suns (17-34, 12-12 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.9 (1st), Suns– 102.6 (24th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.2 (8th), Suns – 107.8 (25th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (8th), Suns – 92.3 (10th)
View from the enemy: Valley of the Suns
Man, it feels like the Thunder just played these guys.
It’s a unique situation to play two regular season games against the same team within 48 hours of each other. And pummeling a team on your home floor and then turning around and performing against the same group on the road right away could be a challenge. The wounds are fresh for the Suns and they’re sure to make adjustments and play with some pride tonight.
After a 5-4 stretch, the Thunder ripped off three very impressive wins at home, beating teams by about 20 a game. The ball movement and spacing was delicious, with OKC racking up almost 90 assists in the three games. Can they carry that kind of vibe to the road, even against a bad team?
Phoenix coming in: They got killed by the Thunder Friday night.
Three Big Things
1. Bench consistency. The way the Thunder’s bench has performed recently has been so incredibly encouraging. Taking that on the road is always a challenge in the NBA, but when OKC gets second unit production, that makes the Thunder so difficult to slow down over 48 minutes. But Kevin Martin is out with flu-like symptoms, meaning the Thunder will have to find that production elsewhere.
2. KD and Russ. Last time in Phoenix, the superduo scored 47 of OKC’s 51 in the second half. The Suns can’t stop them, and without Martin, there’s going to be an increased responsibility on them tonight.
3. Play like Friday.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Team Go.