Wolves at Thunder
7:00 pm CST
After dropping the first game of their four game road trip in Dallas to fall to .500 on the season, the Wolves will look to rebound tonight in Oklahoma City against the Thunder.
The Thunder of course are a much different team than we’ve seen in the past, with Russell Westbrook gone to Houston, and a semi-rebuild taking place. They still have an interesting mix of veteran and young talent, however, and come in at 8-12 on the year.
They have put Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the role of lead scorer, which he’s not yet ready for, and perhaps is not his ultimate fate, but he’s an exciting young player and the jewel in the Paul George trade over the summer. They’ve surrounded SGA with veterans who excel in their roles: Chris Paul is no longer at his peak, but can still run a team, Danilo Gallinari has been shooting the three with great efficiency, and Steven Adams remains an immovable object in the post.
It’s added up to a team, much like the Wolves, which is OK on both sides of the ball, but not really good enough at anything to be a real winner. Unlike the Wolves, it feels fairly transient, with several guys likely to be moved for further assets down the line, as the Thunder continue to load up on draft picks and young talent.
The Wolves really need a win tonight, with the Lakers looming next on the schedule. They can’t let things get away from them. There has to be real focus on both ends, and they especially cannot afford to be sloppy and stagnant on the offensive end. They were not crisp for long stretches in Dallas, and in the end it cost them. One area they need to succeed in tonight is rebounding; The Thunder are a poor rebounding team especially on the offensive end, and the Wolves need an advantage in second chance points.
On the bright side, perhaps Andrew Wiggins still has his Oklahoma City magic. He’s had some big moments against the Thunder. We all remember his game winner at the start of the 2017-18 season I presume:
And of course his huge night on Ryan Saunders’ debut last season:
After a poor shooting night in Dallas, Wiggins and the Wolves could use a big night in a place he’s had success before.
Our blogging buddies are over at Welcome to Loud City. Be excellent.