OKC Thunder vie to usurp Mavericks on West ladder: game preview

OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
2 of 3
OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder Danilo Gallinari (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder shared scoring:

The OKC Thunder don’t just rely on one or two player’s to get them over the line. They like to work together, allowing everyone to have the ball in their hands, make decisions and create plays.

One example was in their win over the Houston Rockets on Monday. Chris Paul scored a colossal 27 points in the first half and when it came to late in the game, Dennis Schroder took over and shot a clutch bucket with 28 seconds left in the game while being defended by James Harden.

After the game, he said that Paul had done his part in the first half, and he wanted to add his own contribution.

The trust OKC have and their belief in each other is undeniable and this will help them in their encounter with the Mavericks.

Containing Doncic and Curry and Dort’s defense

Doncic and Curry are the best shooters on the Dallas Mavericks. Doncic is averaging 29.9 points per game, 9.5 rebounds and 8.9 assists. He is a candidate for MVP and deservedly so. His teammate Seth Curry’s numbers don’t do his contribution and amazing scoring ability justice. He averages 10.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game playing only 22.9 minutes a night.

Curry recorded 19 points in his team’s loss to the Jazz and connected on four of five 3-pointers. So for OKC, it will be about limiting Doncic and Curry as they can heat up at any time. One Thunder player who is exceptional at defending some of the league’s best scorer’s is rookie Luguentz Dort.

The Canadian is fearless, only wanting to do his job and do whatever he can to prevent opponents’ from getting into a rhythm. He showed this when matching up against Harden and Trae Young.

If defensive specialist Terrance Ferguson is also able to play, his addition will lessen the task and could turn into a defensive clinic.

Youngsters stepping up:

Darius Bazley (15 points), Hamidou Diallo (10 points) and Dort (10 points) put up a complete performance in Minnesota. They made a combined 13 of their 17 shot attempts.

They are stepping up and the confidence that Coach Billy Donovan had in them coming into the season is paying dividends. It is so enjoyable to watch them grow, have fun and have the right people around them to continue to improve. This will be important for the OKC Thunder in the game.

To conclude, the OKC Thunder and Dallas Mavericks will come into this game with heavy hearts just like the rest of the NBA community and many people across the world. Kobe was bigger than basketball and his legacy will live on. Thoughts, prayers, and love go out to the Bryant family and all those who were impacted by this tragedy.

As these two teams go to battle just like Kobe did every single night with heart and devotion, they’ll have Kobe and his daughter Gianna in their hearts and minds and we will forever.