Thunder (25-7, 11-4 road) vs. Timberwolves (16-16, 10-5 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.6 (8th), Wolves – 108.9 (5th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 100.6 (3rd), Wolves – 104.6 (13th)
Pace: Thunder – 96.3 (5th), Wolves – 97.3 (2nd)
Remember what happened to the Thunder the last time they traveled to Minnesota? Of course you do. Also without Russell Westbrook then, the Thunder took probably their worst beating since their inaugural season in OKC, playing flat from tipoff without any sign of life at any point. Westbrook returned a game later and the Thunder were magically fixed.
But that doesn’t appear to be the future this time around. The Thunder are coming off consecutive losses — both at home — and facing a three-game skid right in the face. The Thunder had only one three-game losing streak last season, and have had only one each season since 2010-11.
In both the last two losses, you could make a case the Thunder gave them away. But this is on the road against a team scrapping to get over .500. If the Thunder have a lead going in to tonight’s fourth quarter, honestly, that might be an achievement in of itself. The Thunder can win this game. But it won’t be easy, and maybe even unlikely. Which is what makes the sting of the last two games feel so much worse.
Minnesota coming in: Scorched the Pelicans on Wednesday
Three Big Things
1. Transition D. The Wolves love to run, specifically off of misses. And if they’re created easy looks and ripping off 10-2 runs, I’m not sure the Thunder have the necessary firepower to dig out of a double-digit hole.
2. Help me. Kevin Durant is basically the kid in the baskseat of a car with a “help me!” sign on the back of the window. Last game KD had 24 and the next highest scorer was Perry Jones with 11. That’s… that’s bad. Whether it’s Reggie Jackson, Serge Ibaka, Jeremy Lamb or someone else, the Thunder need some secondary scoring.
3. Play the fourth quarter. Even if you’re down by 10 going into the final frame, try something new and actually play well the last 12 minutes. You know, just to see if it works.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Come On Thunder.