The Oklahoma City Thunder will be on the road for the second straight game, this time taking on the Brooklyn Nets in their new arena.
The Nets have gotten off to a great start this season at 11-5 making them good for third in the Eastern Conference. The Thunder have done the same getting off to a great start this season and are playing possibly the best basketball of anyone in the league right now.
The key matchup tonight will be at the point guard position between Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams.
Westbrook is coming off two of his best games of the year on both ends of the floor. He’s shooting efficiently and racking up the assists while also flying all over the floor for steals on defense.
Williams’ scoring is down this season to 15.4 points per game which is third on the team behind Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. His 3-point shooting has been dreadful at 26.8 percent while attempting over five per game.
The Nets may be in pretty good shape in terms of matching up with Kevin Durant as well. Gerald Wallace is the perfect type of defender to use on Durant and can get physical with him to make his looks tougher.
Durant has also been in top form of late earning the last two Western Conference Player of the Week Awards. He’s third in the NBA this season averaging 26.2 points per game and averaging a career-high in rebounds (8.7) and assists (4.3).
You would expect Brooklyn’s leading scorer Lopez to have a tougher time than usual tonight matched up with Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. So a lot of the pressure will be with Williams and Johnson to do a lot of scoring for the Nets.
The Thunder should have an advantage with the second unit as well and if Kevin Martin plays well, it will be hard to imagine the Nets winning.
The Nets play the slowest pace in the NBA right now. They are also a good offensive rebounding team ranked 8th in the NBA in offensive rebound rate. Offensive rebounds are more important when the pace is slow so if the Thunder are allowing too many offensive boards, the Nets should be in good position to win.
The Nets are 7-1 at home so far this season so winning will be no cake walk for the Thunder. The game will tip at 7:30 p.m. EST and will be broadcast nationally on NBATV.