Oklahoma City Thunder (9-34, 3-17 road) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (9-32, 4-18 home)
TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD 722)
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM)
Offensive Rating: Thunder: 101.7 (29th), Clippers: 100.5 (30th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder: 108.9 (19th), Clippers: 108.2 (17th)
Pace: Thunder: 93.9 (6th), Clippers: 91.3 (15th)
Here’s something that sucks: The Clippers have nine wins this year. And 22 percent of their wins have been against OKC. So far, the Clips are 2-0 against the Thunder, with both games being played at the Ford Center. Maybe we just need a change of scenery seeing that the Clips have the worst home record in the league. Now the first matchup the Clips won 108-98, but that doesn’t count because that was with P.J. The second, the Thunder just flat out stunk and came out incredibly flat in the first quarter and lost by 10.
Now since we know the entire nation will be watching, we’ve got to hope we show up in the first quarter. For some reason, I have a little of the same feeling I did before the Minny game after OKC beat the Knicks the night before. Now obviously, the Thunder’s has a day to rest and the Clippers aren’t hot like the Wolves were, but still Kevin Durant played 45 minutes and Russell Westbrook logged 39 two nights ago. Let’s hope we don’t see another case of the jello legs.
While the game is on the road, to me, there’s not a whole of excuse to not come with a win. The Clippers will be possibly be without Zach Randolph and Marcus Camby on the blocks (Clips Nation feels like Camby will play). On top of that, the Clips will be missing Baron Davis, Mike Taylor, Jason Hart and Chris Kaman. Quite honestly, I have no idea how they’re going to field a team tonight. Maybe they can call up Michael Olowokandi and Eric Piatkowski and see what they’re doing tonight.
One player OKC needs to watch is Steve Novak. The sharpshooter from Marquette can fill it up. He’s deadly from downtown and is so tall he can get his shot almost any time. Durant will likely draw him when he’s on the floor which is good, because KD can match Novak’s length.
OKC should have the edge inside as the Clips are missing basically everyone on the blocks. DeAndre Jordan had a career night against the Lakers with 23 and 12, but still Nick Collison, Nenad Krstic and Co. should be able to handle the boards and dominate inside.
The goal was to come back 1-1 from this West Coast trip. Mission already accomplished. But hopefully the Thunder don’t settle. This isn’t like in Little League where you’re in the title game and you think, “Hey! No matter what, I get a trophy!” The Thunder need to come out hungry tonight because if not, the Clips can and will beat them. We’ve seen OKC come out flat before against an injury riddled team (See: Golden State) and get embarrassed. The Thunder better come to play or it will happen again. They aren’t good enough to go through the motions and beat a team. I’m sure Scott Brooks has told them this.