Thunder (21-4, 8-4 road) vs. Spurs (21-5, 9-2 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.1 (5th), Spurs – 107.9 (6th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 100.6 (4th), Spurs – 99.1 (2nd)
Pace: Thunder – 96.9 (3rd), Spurs – 95.5 (8th)
Did you know: The last time the Thunder won in San Antonio was Game 5 when James Harden hit that dagger? Granted, that’s only two regular season games last year, but the point is, keep losing there and a mental obstacle starts to manifest itself.
This is obviously an important game, but it’s not that important. The Thunder are already one up on the Spurs and while winning tonight would look very good in the court of public opinion and also give OKC a pretty big edge in the West, especially in tiebreakers, it is still December.
Three Big Things
1. Perimeter defense. It’s the same story every time the Thunder play the Spurs. Defend the 3-point line, don’t get sucked into the drive and kick game and you should do alright. In the first meeting, the Spurs missed a bunch of clean perimeter looks so while it looks like OKC did its job on the outside, it was more about getting lucky.
2. Bench. The Thunder’s second unit outplayed San Antonio’s in the first game. That’s a lot to expect again, especially on the road. But the Thunder’s bench definitely needs to produce.
3. No Kawhi. Leonard is out tonight, Tony Parker is in. So the Spurs won’t be at full strength, which means this game comes complete with disclaimers which is just GREAT.
Tip at 7:30 CT. Go Thunder Basketball.