Thunder (58-21, 25-15 road) at Blazers (33-45, 22-17 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 112.5 (1st), Blazers– 106.2 (12th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.6 (4th), Blazers – 109.1 (26th)
Pace: Thunder – 93.4 (8th), Blazers – 91.3 (18th)
View from the enemy: Portland Roundball Society
With two home games waiting on the Thunder to finish things up, it’s really just about getting through tonight’s game. OKC’s taken care of business impressively so far on this road trip in Utah and Golden State, solidifying its grip on the West’s top seed. But a tricky back-to-back awaits in Portland against an energetic young team.
The Blazers are solid at home, but they’re going to be shorthanded, missing Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews. Which means Kevin Durant could have a field day. He’ll be guarded by Sasha Pavlovic (who KD did this to) and Victor Claver.
So yeah, that should be fun.
Portland coming in: Lost to the Lakers on Wednesday.
1. Unlikely Perk. Kendrick Perkins is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game with a strained right hamstring. Hasheem Thabeet will likely start. The Blazers are an undersized interior team, but Perk always does very good work on LaMarcus Aldridge. Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka defend him fairly well too, but it’s something to watch.
2. Damian Lillard. The rookie doesn’t back down as he impressively went toe-to-toe with Kobe on Wednesday. He’s going to challenge Russell Westbrook and if Portland’s staying in the game, it’s going to be because Lillard played well.
3. Bench. Portland’s second unit is horrific, especially since they’re down two starters. OKC’s came to life last night against the Warriors, so this could be another opportunity for the bench to be effective and build some confidence and momentum.
Tip at 9:00 CT. Go Last Road Game.