Game 6 Pregame Primer: Thunder vs. Rockets (Series 2-3)natashapanchal.com / @MarcStreeter / @pics.and.roll

Game 6 Pregame Primer: Thunder vs. Rockets (Series 2-3)

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ESPN preview

Tip-off:

8:00 PM @ ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, ? TNT

Projected starting lineups:

Oklahoma CityHouston
PG: Chris PaulPG: James Harden
SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander SG: Russell Westbrook
SF: Lu DortSF: Danuel House
PF: Danilo Gallinari PF: P.J. Tucker
C: Steven AdamsC: Robert Covington

3 Big Things:

  • Look out for Russ: Russell Westbrook finished with seven points in Game 5, the first time he finished with single digits in a playoff game since 2012. Although he has seen very limited action in Orlando, expect a more aggressive Westbrook tonight, which could ultimately help or hinder the Thunder. Historically, Westbrook has been pretty good in close-out games. It will be interesting to see how the Brodie fairs this evening.
  • Get Shai Going: Shai exceeded expectations during the initial portion of the regular season. During the bubble and playoff games SGA has looked like a sophomore. If OKC’s star guard can recapture some of that early magic, the Rockets and Thunder are destined for a Game 7 showcase. 
  • Control the Tempo: This could be the final Thunder game of the season, therefore it is vital Oklahoma City brings that Loud City energy and controls the tempo of Game 6. Whether the Thunder play fast enough or not could decide the contest. In their two wins OKC has scored 18 fast break points, whereas in their three losses the Thunder have combined to score 12 total points in transition. The Thunder are better when they are out on the break, and when they play faster it leaves the Rocket’s defense vulnerable.

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