It will only get tougher for the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight as they will play the second game of a road back-to-back vs. the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Thunder beat the Hawks with relative ease last night thanks to a great shooting night from Kevin Durant and all-around destructive game from Russell Westbrook.
The Hawks are an up-tempo team that isn’t exactly known for their defense. The grit and grind in Memphis will be a different taste for the Thunder.
Memphis has not built on their Western Conference Finals appearance from a year ago. They have a new coach in David Joerger and they have been battling injuries this season. The result is that Memphis finds themselves out of the playoff standings so far.
The Thunder have been on a roll, having lost just once since Nov. 14. That loss was the second game of a back-to-back at Portland, however.
The Thunder and Grizzlies always make for great matchups. They’re usually physical, low-scoring affairs.
Memphis will likely be without Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and possibly Ed Davis. If you’re banged up, you’re usually not going to have a fun time against the Thunder.
These missing pieces should allow the Thunder some room for error in a matchup where that typically is not the case.
Durant has been a monster of late shooting the ball and other players like Reggie Jackson have been stepping up as well.
Westbrook got a nice warm-up matchup from Jeff Teague last night and will have to win the point guard battle again vs. Mike Conley tonight.
Road back-to-backs are never easy, but this one is a game the Thunder should be able to handle.