Magic (7-16, 2-10 road) vs. Thunder (18-4, 11-0 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.3 (7th), Magic – 101.3 (25th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.0 (5th), Magic – 105.9 (17th)
Pace: Thunder – 96.8 (4th), Magic – 95.0 (12th)
Taking anything for granted in the NBA is unwise, but this does feel like the kind of game where the biggest question is whether or not Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will play in the fourth quarter. Again, when you start saying those kinds of things it only leads to a shocking evening, but then again, with the form the Thunder are in, particularly at home, if they show up and play this shouldn’t be too challenging.
The Magic do present a few challenges, most notably being their offensive rebounding ability inside with Nikola Vucevic and on the perimeter with Arron Afflalo. They’ve got some talent and they’re the type of young team that is going to compete tip to buzzer, unlike a team like the Lakers that saw the writing on the wall and mostly packed it in. The Magic are going to try and battle, because these are the games a young team like that lives for. A chance to measure yourself against the best.
Orlando coming in: Lost to the Cavs on Friday
Three Big Things
1. Focus. Arrive to the arena with a proper mindset to play.
2. Energy. Once at said arena, play with ample amounts of intensity.
3. Effort. As the game progresses, continue to play hard until the end of it. Or at least for like half of it.
Tip at 6:00 CT. Go F-E-E.