Thunder (46-16, 20-10 road) vs. Lakers (21-42, 10-20 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.3 (6th), Lakers – 103.6 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.3 (5th), Lakers – 109.8 (27th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.5 (9th), Lakers – 98.1 (2nd)
Best way to get over that Phoenix loss? Play the Lakers.
The Lakers have been so bad as of late, specifically on the defensive end, allowing more than 400 points total in their last three games, that one would assume a cakewalk for OKC today. But then again, doesn’t this feel like the kind of game where the Lakers show a little pride on national TV and give the Thunder little bit of a fight?
Because keep in mind: Somehow this Lakers team went to Portland a week ago and picked up a win. So they’re at least capable of doing something. The Thunder should cruise, and should pile on the misery for Laker fans. But let’s not take things for granted here.
Three Big Things
1. Defense? Defense.
2. Smalls. The Lakers are likely to go supersmall against OKC, playing Wes Johnson at power forward to try and create mismatches. The Thunder will need to match up, and just play smallball better. Shouldn’t be too tough, considering OKC will have Kevin Durant as its power forward.
3. Don’t hope for misses. Back to defense, the Thunder have got to force misses, not just hope they happen. Run shooters off the 3-point line, contest everything, make things difficult. We saw it in the last meeting between these teams, you give Kendall Marshall space to operate, he can find some shooters and they can make a few shots. Don’t play with fire today, Thunder.
Tip at 2:30 CT. Go D.