Thunder (46-15, 20-9 road) vs. Suns (35-25, 21-12 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.1 (6th), Suns – 109.3 (8th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (4th), Suns – 106.4 (15th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.4 (9th), Suns – 95.7 (7th)
The Suns are good. And they’re desperate. They’re in a scrap for a playoff spot in the West, hanging on for dear life, making every game of massive import to them. The Thunder are coming off a big six-game homestand, following the All-Star break, so this is the first road game for OKC in almost three weeks.
The Thunder beat Phoenix once already, but I don’t think we really learned all that much from it. It was early in the season when the Suns were still thought to be lottery fodder, and before they figured out they were a legit good team.
Should be a good game.
Three Big Things
1. Goran. Goran Dragic and Russell Westbrook are not best friends. So it’s always fun to watch them spar. But Dragic is what makes the Suns go right now, scoring and assisting. It’s a big matchup for Westbrook, and he needs to put a bunch of pressure on the Phoenix point guard, both ways.
2. Pace. The Suns play fast and loose, getting up and down the floor for early shot opportunities. They love transition buckets, and turning long rebounds into outlet passes. The Thunder have had plenty of problems this season dealing with transition defense, so it’s something to watch.
3. Butler. Game number two in the Caron Butler experience. How do he fit tonight? Which lineups is he used in? How much does he play? Who does he play with?
Tip at 8:00 CT. Go Thun. Der.