Golden State Warriors (23-27) host Oklahoma City Thunderw (34-18)
TV: ESPN and CSN Bay Area Radio: KNBR 680
Tip-Off: 5:00 pm PST
Blog Buddy: Welcome to Loud City
I won't try to soften it. Thursday's stinker still stings. And that was against the Suns, a team fighting for a bottom run playoff seed. Trying to get back on track versus the division leading squad from Oklahoma City won't be easy.
The Thunder are tough. Already having relegated form #1 overall Greg Oden to the unfortunate asterisk status of 'that guy who someone took before Kevin Durant, the Thunder's forward is putting up another "possibly the most dangerous offensive player in the game" sort of season. Containing him is key, though by his standards, 'containment' can still leave him as the game's high scorer. If he isn't, Russell Westbrook is dangerous enough to beat you by himself. Like Durant, Westbrook has excelled at getting to the line this year. He's also becoming one of the league's elite setup men.
It will take a great game from the Warriors to pull out a win. On paper the key would appear to be to force the ball to Green (15ppg, but on a pedestrian sub-average 0.524 TS%) and the Thunder's bigs and hope to put enough pressure on Westbrook, Durant, and the quietly efficient James Harden to hold them in check. On paper, this looks like a game full of challenges. But "paper" isn't aware that it's GSoM night, and the extra electrons normally committed to powering our community's flat screens and laptops are, as such, to be commandeered and rerouted to the Oracle, providing crazed fans with the extra energy and volume to push our guys into an overdrive. Make it electric, Warriors.
This and that:
- For what it's worth, the Thunder may not be quite as solid a team as their 34 and 18 wins suggest. Their average margin of victory suggests that they've been lucky more than a few times. FIngers crossed that their luck runs dry tonight.
- The Thunder perform almost as well on the road as they do at home. Their 16-10 record when paroled from Oklahoma is only moderately better at home (18-8).
- Did I mention it's GSoM night?