Oklahoma City Westbrooks (3-0) at Golden State Warriors (3-1)
How to watch?
Date: Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
Location: Oracle Arena - Oakland, CA
Time: 7:30pm PST
TV: TNT Radio: 95.7 THE GAME
Just another game, huh? Yea right. This one is going to be special. Games vs OKC - either regular season or in the playoffs - have always been special when the Warriors are concerned. This one is no exception, and is the matchup that fans and NBA writers have been thinking about ever since The Decision went down on the 4th of July. Will Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shake hands? Will they hug? Will they drop the gloves and start throwing haymakers hockey-style?
Oklahoma City is currently enjoying one of the best starts to a season statistically from a player in NBA history. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Russ Westbrook is dominating right now. ESPN shared today that “Russell Westbrook is the 1st player in NBA history with 100 points, 30 rebounds and 30 assists in his team's 1st three games of a season.” He had a 50-point triple-double on opening night, and followed up with another two nights later. His supporting crew has helped his team to a fast start to the early season, but can they keep the momentum up heading into this huge matchup?
The Warriors wrapped up a perfect three game road trip through New Orleans, Phoenix and Portland. By the time the trip was over, we started to see glimpses of the Warriors of old. Driven by pesky defense and some MVP-caliber Curry, Golden State handled the Blazers on Tuesday. As great of a win as it was, Portland scored 104 points and the Warriors points allowed per game went DOWN. Steve Kerr and crew are still trying to tweak the rotations and defensive strategy to get the best out of this new roster, but the small signs of getting on track are welcome.
I like that KD went in front of the media, grabbed some of the attention away from his teammates for a few days and answered direct questions on his relationship with Westbrook. He went back to his “This is all the media’s fault” narrative, and I agree with his take. Any time these two matchup on the floor - on a switch, on the break, shot for shot - the crowd will eat it up. And that’s why we watch the game, right? To see what this new big four can do when the lights get bright, and hope the ghosts of opening night have been exercised.
It becomes too hard to predict this one. Call it the easy way out, but the chances of Westbrook going off for 50 are too high. Plus Oakland has not been a happy place for the Warriors recently. Both teams will score a lot, Klay Thompson will find his shot again, Draymond Green will find a way to kick Steven Adams again, and I have Golden State taking this one 117-115.