Game Day #3: vs. Suns

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 Oklahoma City Thunder (1-1, 0-0 home) vs Phoenix Suns (2-0, 0-0 away)

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Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 6:00 pm
TV:
 FS Oklahoma (679 Directv, 37 Cox, 754 AT&T U-Verse, 416 Dish)
TV: NBATV for all non-Oklahoma Regions
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: OKC favored by 4 . O/U – 195
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Suns
PG:  Russell Westbrook  Goran Dragic
SG:  Thabo Sefolosha  Eric Bledsoe
SF:  Kevin Durant  PJ Tucker
PF:  Serge Ibaka  Channing Frye
C:  Kendrick Perkins  MIles Plumlee

Last Time: When the Suns and Thunder last met, Oklahoma City slaughtered the Suns 97-68 in front of their own fans. It was the fourth game in a season sweep over the Suns for the 2012-13 NBA season.

Tonight, the Oklahoma City Thunder look to get back to their winning ways as they host the Phoenix Suns in their home opener of the 2013-14 NBA season. For the Thunder opening up finally at home, they’ll be the last team in the association to do so. The Suns on the other hand, are one of two teams that have yet to play on the road, the other being Minnesota, so they’re into new territory as well.

As we mentioned, the Thunder need to get back to their winning ways as they were demolished by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, 100-81. Jeremy Lamb led the Thunder in scoring, but wasn’t until the fourth quarter that he piled it on. Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka struggled from the floor, both combining to go 7-of-24 for 22 points. Oklahoma City shot just 35 percent as a team.

Phoenix is one of five undefeated teams left in the NBA. That’s not always a weird thing, but the Phoenix Suns were supposed to be tanking their way to Andrew Wiggins. However, they’ve just come out and dominated their opponents, blowing out the Blazers on opening night, then beating the Jazz. They’re allowing just a simple 87.5 points per game, that’s the best in the Western Conference.

They’re not scoring exactly the highest amount of points, but neither is Oklahoma City. So, it could be the team that gets going early that takes this ball game.

Looking at the Oklahoma City Thunder injury situation, only Russell Westbrook was scheduled to be out tonight. However, he will play tonight.

For the Suns, Goran Dragic is questionable for tonight’s match up. Dragic was forced out of Friday’s contest against the Jazz after suffering a right facial contusion in a collision with P.J. Tucker.

This is going to be the 18th match up between the Suns and the Thunder since the move to Oklahoma City. The Thunder are winning in the series 12-6. Oklahoma City is currently on an 10-game winning streak over Phoenix. The Suns won the first four of the series, and Oklahoma City basically won the last 11 of 13 .Surprisingly, Oklahoma City has a 5-2 series lead in games that are in Phoenix.. The Suns lead the overall series 115-85.

Keys to the Game

Ball Movement
Oklahoma City is averaging just 12.5 assists per game right now. The number isn’t the most important thing as the ball movement. Oklahoma City has struggled to move the ball around the court, and have settled for contested jump shots. They need to swing the ball around a little more in the offense, and find a way to get better shots. Especially when Kevin Durant is not on the floor. You need to find someone who can help create some offense.

Scoring
This team needs someone else to step up. They’re not doing it right now. Kevin Durant is having to shoulder the load and they’re struggling because of it. Reggie Jackson has to produce, so does Serge Ibaka. Most importantly Jeremy Lamb and Thabo Sefolosha have to be more efficient than they have been this season.

Three-Pointers
Abysmal three-point shooting this season. It’s a black eye we saw in the preseason and so far, it has carried over to the regular season. Oklahoma City ranks 24th in three-point percentage at 26 percent per game. That’s bad. They also took 31 attempts against the Timberwolves. No reason the Thunder should ever attempt that many.

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Member of the Professional Basketball Writer's Association. Lover of Advanced Stats. Russell Westbrook apologist.


ThunderObsesssed.com 2014