Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0, 0-0 home) vs Denver Nuggets (2-1, 1-1 away)
|PG:||Reggie Jackson||Ty Lawson|
|SG:||Thabo Sefolosha||Randy Foye|
|SF:||Kevin Durant||JJ Hickson|
|PF:||Serge Ibaka||Anthony Randolph|
|C:||Steven Adams||JaVale McGee|
Last Time: In their final meeting of the season last year, the Denver Nuggets figured out they had Oklahoma City’s number. The Nuggets won 114-104 in their last meeting. Nuggets won the season series last year 3-1
Tonight the good guys return home! The Oklahoma City Thunder return to the Chesapeake Energy Arena for the first time this season. Though, it’s just a preseason game, it’s going to be nice to see 18,203 seats full and very loud.
Oklahoma City returns to the ‘Peake after sweeping both games on their European road trip. They took down Fenerbahce and the Philadelphia 76ers. It was really nice getting to see the Thunder on an international stage as a team. For a handful of the Thunder players, they know what it was like, but for others who are just domestic grown players, such as Jeremy Lamb, Kendrick Perkins, going over seas is an experience.
Last year, the Nuggets found a way to beat the Thunder, pretty much at their own game. They scored a lot of points, played a little defense, and just pounded the glass. However, this is a little different Nuggets team. Gone is George Karl, and Danilo Galinari is still out. They brought in Nate Robinson and new head coach Brian Shaw. Shaw preaches defense and fundamentals, not so much run and gun.
Where the Nuggets will finish is hard to predict. They’ve been suggested to finish anywhere from seventh to 12th on a preseason predictions. They’re a work in progress. They still have a lot of pieces, but they have a lot of potential.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without Russell Westbrook until middle December. Kendrick Perkins will miss his second straight game as a precautionary move. He dislocated his finger in the opening game. He should be ready to go for the first game of the season.
For the Nuggets, relatively healthy so far this preseason. Their only injury is Galinari. He’s still recovering from an ACL tear that happened at the end of the regular season last year.
The Nuggets and the Thunder have met a total of 157 times over their histories, with Oklahoma City holding a 84-73 lead in the series. Since the Thunder moved from Seattle, Denver holds the 12-7 lead. A lot of those Nuggets wins were early in the move, with Carmelo Anthony playing for the Nuggets. Oklahoma City does hold the slim 12-9 playoff advantage over the Nuggets
What to watch for
With Kendrick Perkins most likely sitting tonight. Will Adams or Thabeet step up and play well? We’re going to see. Both played okay against Philadelphia, wasn’t very flashy. Oklahoma City needs someone to step up and be a competent player.
We’re going to be watching this all preseason long, get used to it. We’re curious on how he’ll handle the pressure, especially against NBA teams. He did well against Fenerbahce, but the talent on defense is now improved. So, now we’re going to see what he can do against a higher talented roster.
Oklahoma City has struggled from behind the arc this preseason. They’re just 8-of-41 from deep. That’s an abysmal 19.5 percent. I think some of it is the fact that it IS preseason, but hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come. Oklahoma City relies on a lot of their three-point shooting to steal some close games.