Thunder (1-game losing streak)
106.8 Offensive Efficiency (2nd)
100.0 Defensive Efficiency (12th)
95.8 Pace (5th)
56.9 True Shooting % (1st)
51.1 Rebound Rate (8th)
Clippers (1-game losing streak)
104.3 Offensive Efficiency (6th)
103.0 Defensive Efficiency (21st)
91.8 Pace (27th)
52.8 True Shooting % (14th)
51.9 Rebound Rate (3rd)
It was not a pretty effort by the Thunder last night losing in Utah 97-90. The game really wasn’t even that close with Utah pulling away beginning in the second quarter and Oklahoma City only nearing a comeback with some desperation threes.
Tonight the Thunder will play the Clippers for the first time since this happened.
That was one of the more memorable games of this regular season up to its point and not just because of Blake Griffin’s dunk.
The matchup was very impressive to watch with the athletes that both teams had and talent of the teams. A late second quarter three-point barrage from the Clips would propel them enough ahead to prevent a Thunder comeback (which still almost happened).
Of late the Thunder have been in a funk struggling to find consistency as the season is hitting that point where some teams including the Thunder are coasting.
Returning home tonight with the memory of the last meeting expect both teams to come out and play hard.
Both teams will feature new additions in the game with the Clippers acquiring Nick Young at the trade deadline and giving away only Brian Cook and the Thunder potentially suiting up Derek Fisher, who is expected to sign with the team later tonight and is rumored to of already passed a physical.
Los Angeles poses a sizable advantage inside and is one of the better rebounding teams in the league. If they can be effective on the glass then it will make life very difficult for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City can play efficiently at a much higher tempo than the Clippers and it will surely be of emphasis for them to get out on the break. Stacked against them is one of the best game-managers in the NBA in Chris Paul and he will probably try and slow things down.
The Clippers won the first meeting thanks to great three-point shooting. Assuming we don’t see a repeat of that the Thunder shouldn’t have a ton of problem defending Los Angeles’ offense, which basically turns into nothing but pick-and-roll by the end of the game.
The fire power that Oklahoma City has in its big three of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden are all going to be tough for the Clippers to matchup. The Clippers weakness is defense on the wing while the offensive isolation prowess of Oklahoma City starts from that position.
It will be a fun matchup no matter what. The Thunder are in need of a well-played game but so are the Clippers. A playoff atmosphere is expected as the teams tip at 8 p.m. EST.