Thunder (5-3, 2-3 road) vs. Bucks (2-6, 1-2 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 105.9 (10th), Bucks– 99.3 (26th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 105.1 (15th), Bucks – 107.9 (28th)
Pace: Thunder – 97.3 (9th), Bucks – 92.3 (24th)
The Thunder have always been an excellent bounce back team, going 17-4 in them last season. They’re already 0-1 this season in them though, so far. But here’s another opportunity as they’ll attempt to avoid the ultra-rare three-game losing streak against a weak Bucks team in Milwaukee.
The issue you face here is not letting that Warriors loss beat you twice. It would’ve been quite nice to have walked away from LA and Oakland at 1-1 with an emotional win coming last. But instead, they were 0-2 and deflated at the buzzer. Got to let that go and refocus.
The Thunder will get back to normal tonight, too, with Kendrick Perkins rejoining the team and returning to the starting lineup. The rotations will get back to normal, Hasheem Thabeet won’t play, and the bench will be deeper again. It’s not that the Thunder are better with Perk starting — it’s that they’re deeper.
Milwaukee coming in: Got blown out by the Pacers last night
Three Big Things
1. Play decent. The Bucks don’t do anything especially well. They’re bad offensively and with Larry Sanders out, they’re bad defensively. If the Thunder do the little things — take care of the ball, rebound, defend, move the ball — they should cruise. But get sloppy, fail to execute and come out flat and this could be a fourth quarter game.
2. O.J. Mayo. Really, he’s the only threat offensively. He’s one of the only players they have that can create his own shot and that can knock down perimeter shots. They have a few other solid players like Ersan Ilyasova, Gary Neal, Caron Butler and John Henson, but the Bucks have trouble scoring and Mayo is really the player that can open things up.
3. Play decent. Did I say that one already? Well, do that.
Tip at 7:30 CT. Go Don’t Suck.