Knicks (20-30, 8-13 road) vs. Thunder (40-12, 22-3 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.0 (5th), Knicks – 106.4 (15th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.2 (4th), Knicks – 108.1 (21st)
Pace: Thunder – 95.0 (12th), Knicks – 90.6 (28th)
Well, I don’t think anyone really expected this one to be a bounce back, but here it is. The Thunder had an opportunity to build a nice little winning streak heading into the All-Star break, except they completely let one go in Orlando the other night and now need a win at home to avoid a losing streak.
The other time these two teams played? A Thunder whipping made largely possible by Russell Westbrook and his Christmas Day triple-double. That was also the last game he played for OKC before having his third procedure.
The Knicks were reeling then, and continue to do so, finding themselves 10 games under .500 and in the kind of position that gets your coach fired. I’m not so sure you can call them desperate anymore, because they mainly just appear to be bad, and discombobulated. But they do have a world class scorer in Carmelo Anthony, and a few other dangerous players.
And as the Thunder proved on Friday, nothing can be taken for granted.
Three Big Things
1. D. The Thunder have slipped a bit the past couple weeks on the defensive end, giving up too many easy looks and not contesting well on the perimeter. It looks to me to be more of just a little midseason lull that anything else, but the Knicks can pop you good if you give them too much space.
2. Reggie. Which guy shows up today?
3. Melo vs. KD. Did you know that KD is just just 1-11 against Melo? I found that mildly unbelievable too. The last game OKC played against the Knicks, Melo sat. Durant needs a win.
Tip at 12:00 CT. Go Noon Tip.