Golden State Warriors (11-15) at Oklahoma City Thunder (22-7)
TV: CSN Bay Area HD / Radio: KNBR1050
5 p.m. PST
Blog Buddy: Welcome To Loud City
It might be easy to look at the Golden State Warriors' game in Oklahoma City tonight as a golden opportunity to knock off one of the NBA's best teams after two relatively close games with the Thunder at Oracle Arena.
Oklahoman staff writer John Rohde reports that the Thunder will definitely be without the services of injured center Kendrick Perkins and swingman Thabo Shefolosha. Superstar Kevin Durant is listed as questionable after reports of not feeling well this morning at shootaround.
But after Wednesday night's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers who were without injured star LaMarcus Aldridge, perhaps we should know better than to take any team for granted now. And J.A. Sherman of SB Nation's Thunder site Welcome To Loud City suggests that the loss of Perkins might not even be a big deal.
The loss of Perkins should not bother the Thunder too much, since generally speaking he does not play much in fast-tempo games. In the 2/7 game against the Warriors, Perkins logged only 19 minutes. Nazr Mohammed will be starting in his place, and there is the possibility that Cole Aldrich may be called up to fill out the hole at the center position.
To add to Sherman's point, Perkins wasn't even much of a factor in the last meeting where he would hypothetically hurt the Warriors most statistically: rebounding.
Of course, Perkins' absence certainly won't make the Thunder rebound any better, which Oklahoman staff writer Darnell Mayberry rightly points out is a significant weakness.
Deficient defensive rebounding. By allowing 12.5 offensive rebounds per game, the Thunder is in a three-way tie for 29th with Golden State and Sacramento in defensive rebounding. It's been a problem all season, as OKC has at least 14 offensive rebounds 13 times while holding opponents to less than 10 only twice.