The Oklahoma City Thunder have had a nice little rest the past few days. They had their 12-game winning streak snapped last Thursday in Minnesota vs. the Timberwolves and won’t play again until Christmas Day in Miami vs. the Heat.
The NBA Finals rematch with the Heat tomorrow will be the biggest game of the year so far for the Thunder. OKC has the best record in the league so far but no one will care about that if they lose tomorrow and look like they still aren’t capable of matching up with Miami in a series.
The game in Miami will tip at 5:30 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ABC.
The next game up for the Thunder will be at home two days later against the Dallas Mavericks. That game will also be nationally televised on TNT at 8 p.m. EST.
The Mavericks have been up and down this season but surprisingly saw the return of Dirk Nowitzki last night. O.J. Mayo is one of the early candidates for Most Improved Player this season and they are a team very capable of playing the Thunder close.
The final game of the week for the Thunder will be on the road vs. the Houston Rockets. This is the second time the Thunder will play against James Harden this season. In the first meeting, OKC cruised to a 120-98 win at home vs. the Rockets while holding Harden to 3-of-16 shooting from the field.
When you are a team as talented as the Thunder, you never expect to lose games. It may be a blessing in disguise that the Thunder are looking to start a new winning streak rather than win their 14th in a row when they take on Miami tomorrow.
The Heat are playing very well this season in their own right currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings. LeBron James is again one of the frontrunners for the MVP and we will see if the Thunder look more improved to contain him this year.
Miami was playing a lot of small lineups earlier in the season but recently have used bigger ones. It was the small lineup that crushed the Thunder in the Finals so it will be interesting to see if they go back to that look tomorrow.
Whether or not the Thunder beat Miami, at home vs. Dallas then on the road vs. Houston are two games the Thunder should definitely win.
The Thunder swept a better Dallas team than this one in the first round of the playoffs last season and Houston showed in its first meeting with the Thunder this year that they simply cannot hang.