Lakers (22-42, 11-22 road) vs. Thunder (47-17, 27-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.2 (6th), Lakers – 103.7 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.3 (5th), Lakers – 109.7 (26th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.7 (9th), Lakers – 98.2 (2nd)
It’s pretty simple, Thunder. Make it right. That’s it. After what happened in LA last Sunday, the Thunder need to make things right. They need to play well. They need to defend. And they need to contain Jodie Meeks, yes, Jodie Meeks.
As good as things felt and looked against the Rockets on Tuesday, that’ll be forgotten rather quickly if the Thunder go out and revert to their previous unsavory form and drop one to the Lakers. The defense seemed to come back, and the intensity returned. But the Thunder have had a habit of letting games slip to lesser opponents, and the reason for it seems to be they take things for granted.
Let’s hope the lesson has been learned.
Three Big Things
1. Manage pace. The Lakers are going to try and play with a lot of tempo. And while that’s fine for the Thunder, they do have a bad habit of sometimes getting completely pulled into playing to their opponent’s style. The helter skelter game works for OKC, but only to a degree.
2. Russ. The last game against the Lakers, he got a bit carried away and tried to do far too much. Coming off a solid one against the Rockets, he needs to slow down a tad and just play a steady game. The Thunder don’t need 30 from him tonight. They need the guy that shredded the 76ers in 20 minutes.
3. D. Play some, OK?
Tip at 8:30 CT. Go Stay Awake.