Blazers (33-36, vs. Thunder (51-19, 30-5 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.3 (2nd), Blazers– 106.7 (10th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.7 (7th), Blazers – 107.9 (23rd)
Pace: Thunder – 93.8 (8th), Blazers – 91.2 (19th)
View from the enemy: Portland Roundball Society
The Blazers are still a team on the fringe. They’re not completely out of the playoff conversation, but they’re running out of time. And a game like tonight against the Thunder is precisely the kind that could give them the unexpected boost needed to make a push, or put the nail in their postseason coffin. So that’s a way to say, they’re going to try real hard tonight.
Portland coming in: The Blazers have won two straight, including a nice win over the Hawks on Friday.
1. LMA. The Blazers are toughest to defend when the pick-and-pop game is working with LaMarcus Aldridge. Perk, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison will take turns guarding him with Perk likely getting the bulk of the assignment in the second half if things stay close.
2. Consistency. The Thunder can’t make any kind of big statement tonight with a win, but they can at least stabilize a bit after an off week. That starts with playing well from the tip and carrying it through for four quarters, or maybe, just three.
3. Welcome back E. It’s a little different return, but Eric Maynor will check in tonight playing for another team. Maynor was always a fan favorite in OKC and it’ll be a little weird seeing him on the other side.
Tip at 6:00 CT. Go Home.