Expect a playoff atmosphere as the Golden State Warriors head into the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the third and final battle of the regular season between these two teams. This should be a fantastic game. DeMarcus Cousins, fresh off his highest scoring (and assisting) night as a Warrior, will try and keep it going against one of the best defensive centers in Steven Adams.
Golden State has been awfully inconsistent since the All Star break...ok, all season... but the five wins and five losses since the return to action haven’t been encouraging. The Thunder though are one of the top teams in the West and could easily be someone we meet again in the playoffs.
WHO: Golden State Warriors (46 - 21) at Oklahoma City Thunder (42 - 27)
WHEN: Saturday, March 16; 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Chesapeake Energy Arena — Oklahoma City, OK
RADIO: 95.7 The Game
Blog Buddy: Welcome to Loud City
Kevin Durant’s sprained ankle
After rolling his ankle bad enough to miss a game, the team wasn’t ready to commit one way with regards to tonight’s game, listing him as day-to-day. But based on footage from practice and some inside knowledge from beat reporter, Anthony Slater of the Athletic, I’m guessing Durant will indeed be available.
Kevin Durant practiced today in Houston. Questionable for tomorrow night vs Thunder in OKC. Sounds likely.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 15, 2019
Can the Warriors play well enough to beat the Thunder?
We’ll talk about them in a moment, but suffice to say, the Thunder are really good. Surviving mostly on the strength of their 4th ranked defense, this is an extremely familiar opponent that knows what the Warriors try to do and how to defend it well. The question for the Warriors is going to be how well they can attack this game. A focused and consistent effort is going to be mandatory against a team that they can’t just out-talent.
We’ll also hopefully be reintroducing Durant. Like it’s seemingly been for most of the season, every game recently has felt different. For a team striving for consistency, the clock on the regular season is ticking - and another new addition is less than a week away. The time for putting it all together can’t come soon enough.
This Thunder team isn’t anything to mess with
Though they’re in fifth place now, Oklahoma City was just in third place. Led By Paul George’s MVP-caliber season and paced by the high octane Russell Westbrook, the Thunder have enough top tier talent to make it deep into the playoffs.
They’ve also added some reserve depth. Dennis Schröder put up 32 points off the bench the last time we saw him - though I wouldn’t expect such a big number from him this time around, his speed, paired with Westbrook, is exactly the sort of hustle that the occasionally-moribund Warriors defense is susceptible to.