Wolves at Thunder
7:00 pm CST
This game has been added to the NBA TV slate due to the blizzard in New York which has cancelled both the Nets and Knicks games this evening. How that affects various viewing options is not clear to me.
The Thunder are home after a five game road trip that started off with three wins in a row before losses in Atlanta and Cleveland closed out the trip. They are in the midst of a push to get back into the playoff picture after a 3-12 start due to injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Since then, they have gone 19-10 to even their record at 22-22, and both of those stars have gotten back on the floor and back in their groove.
Russell Westbrook absolutely terrifies me as a Wolves fan. How on earth are they supposed to guard that guy? Mo Williams and Zach LaVine have no chance at all to stop him from getting wherever he wants to go. We're left praying for misses I'm afraid. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant is merely shooting 52% overall and 39% from three, so there's that. Both of those guys also get to the foul line at very high rates, so contesting without fouling is going to be key, but easier said than done.
It will be interesting to see who guards him for the bulk of the game; my guess is they will try Thad Young on him early, and go to Wiggins if it's necessary. It wouldn't surprise me if Flip starts Wiggins on Westbrook with Williams cross-matching with Andre Roberson. We'll see.
UPDATE: KEVIN DURANT IS OUT TONIGHT. He's got a
case of It's Just the Wolves, sprained big toe.
Keeping the Thunder off the offensive glass will also be a key tonight, as they are 7th in the league in Oreb%, though Steven Adams, their best offensive rebounder, missed yesterday's game with a migraine, and I don't know if he's going to go tonight.
I presume the Wolves will once again go with Gorgui Dieng and Nikola Pekovic up front, which means Dieng will be matched up with Serge Ibaka, who has added the three pointer to his arsenal this season. He's shooting 40% on 3.7 attempts a game, and will test Dieng's ability to close out while still providing help defense.
The Thunder also hold opponents to the 4th lowest efg% in the league, mostly because Ibaka and Adams do such a good job protecting the paint.
It could be a long night tonight, but hopefully won't be a recipe game. I don't have one ready.
Kevin Durant Dion Waiters?
Our blogging buddies are at Welcome to Loud City. Be excellent.
no no and no.
Enjoy. Chat. Go.