OKC Thunder (6-3) vs. New Orleans Hornets (3-3) Preview

Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Oklahoma City Thunder get a chance tonight to get back to their winning ways on the road vs. the New Orleans Hornets.

The Thunder are coming off a very tough loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at home. It was a loss that exposed some of the potential flaws for this Thunder team post James Harden.

OKC was in a situation more than ever when they would have needed Harden or a third star as Russell Westbrook was struggling and 34 points from Kevin Durant wasn’t enough. They didn’t get it as Kevin Martin was held to a season-low point total and no one on the Thunder bench stepped up.

The Hornets have not been great this season but not horrible either. Their defense ranks 10th in the league in efficiency while the offense is much worse. It won’t be a cake walk for the Thunder offense to get points but they are the heavy favorites even on the road.

The 2012 No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis has lived up to the hype so far for New Orleans averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He’s not exactly poised for a big game vs. OKC but his presence on this rebuilding team will make them more formidable than last year.

The Thunder go as Westbrook goes. When he is scoring and shooting efficiently, they are impossible to beat. When not, it is more of a challenge.

Staring at Greivis Vasquez on the other end, Westbrook should be ready for a big game, attacking for himself and creating for others. Durant has increasingly scored more the last few nights so combining that with a good matchup for Westbrook is good news for the Thunder.

The Hornets are young and haven’t seen someone like OKC yet this season. The Thunder don’t want to lose two in a row and tonight should be focused and ready to win.

Topics: New Orleans Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder

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