Tonight's matchup vs OKC is like every other big matchup with a top-tier team this season; a chance to see how good the team really is. OKC is coming off a win last night in LA, who we beat the day before, so we should be fully rested. Not that it helps much against OKC who some could argue is the best team in the league, but here we go with what to look for.
1. Curry vs. Westbrook is of course the most important 1on1 matchup of the contest. Jarrett Jack will most likely help covering Steph at times on D to save Steph's energy on offense, but for us to succeed tonight; Steph must win this matchup on the offensive end.
2. Kevin Durant: Durant is always bound to go off and LeBron James is really the only person that can do anything about that. Given that fact all that is left is to do whatever possible to force him to become an inefficient scorer. He will most likely be checked by Harrison Barnes or Draymond Green throughout. Green is a better matchup because he can use his body to do what he can in wearing Durant down. Covering the paint, be it Ezeli, Biedrins, Lee, or Landry is also necessary. You don't want to give Durant the open space to drive the lane and draw easy, unnecessary fouls.
I think the key here is to keep Durant >10FTA's and force him to shoot less than or around 45%. he'll "get his" as they like to say, but if he gets 30 off of 30 shots as opposes to 18-20 shots it presents much more oppurtunities for the Warriors offensively.
3. The inside: Lee vs. Ibaka/Collison/etc. will do much in figuring out how this game goes also. Ibaka is a great inside presence, but if Lee could keep him outside the paint it will be much easier to get looks inside as Ibaka is prone to fall for pump-fakes outside and rely on his shot-blocking ability to beat the opposition. I'd expect Collison/Ibaka to be in a lot to match up with our small Lee/Landry lineup. That leaves it up to both tandems to see who wins the battle.
4. Kevin Martin vs. Jarrett Jack; These two won't necessarily be matched up with eachother much, but whichever of the top-6MOY candidates is the most productive/efficient will give their team an edge.
5. Klay vs Thabo Sefalosha: Klay has been more up than down the past few games, but Sefalosha is one of the top 5, maybe top-3 perimeter defenders and off-ball defenders in the league. Klay needs to do what he can to wear him out and slow him down throughout the game by curling and cutting off screens. Whether it's to score or to be a decoy to create oppurtunites and space for others. It will be a necessary aspect in this game. Because if Thabo is hounding Klay keeping from him finding space or getting the ball it could turn it into a 4on5 or with Ezeli in a 3on5 game offensively.
All in all it's a game all Warriors fans and (I hate this term) Warriors nation is eagerly looking forward to, so enjoy the ride everyone. It's going to be a fun one.
This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!