Game Day #6: vs. Wizards

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 Oklahoma City Thunder (4-1, 2-0 home) at Washington Wizards (2-3, 1-2 away)

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Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 6:00 p.m.
TV:
 FS Oklahoma (679 Directv, 37 Cox, 754 AT&T U-Verse, 416 Dish)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: OKC favored by 9 . O/U – 204
Projected Lineups:

Thunder Wizards
PG:  Russell Westbrook  John Wall
SG:  Thabo Sefolosha  Bradley Beal
SF:  Kevin Durant  Trevor Ariza
PF:  Serge Ibaka  Nene Hilario
C:  Kendrick Perkins  Marcin Gortat

Last Time: Every time the Thunder went to D.C., the Wizards found a way to beat the Thunder. That’s why Oklahoma City and Washington have split the last three seasons. Oklahoma City finally beat the Wizards in Oklahoma city in their final meeting, 103-80.

Since the return of Russell Westbrook, the Thunder have gone on an offensive tear. they’re averaging 109.7 points per game in their last three games. They’re too the point where they are almost unstoppable. Defense has been subject, but for the most part, they’ve been a really solid ball club.

Take into account their last game, a win over the Detroit Pistons. They got to the line 44 times, draining 39 of them. they also hit 45.1 percent of their shots in the 119-110 win. Oklahoma City (4-1), led by as much as 13 in the game, and until the final minute, when the Pistons when on a three barrage, they were never threatened in the fourth quarter by the Pistons.

Coming off a 112-108 overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets, Washington (2-3) used three different players scoring at least 20 points for big third quarter shut down. They limited the Nets to just 15 points in the frame, and just 41 in the second half. The win over the Nets was the second straight win for the Wizards, who started the season 0-3. They’ve found some momentum heading into tonight’s contest.

It’s a weird match up good point guards, John Wall who’s led the Wizards the last few years, however, when going up against the Thunder, Wall is shooting 29.0 percent in four career games against Oklahoma City, easily his lowest mark against any other team. Meanwhile, you have Westbrook who is averaging 27.3 points on 52.3 percent shooting and 8.0 assists in his last three games at the ‘Peake against the Wizards.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are completely healthy heading into tonight’s contest.

Wizards’ forward, Trevor Booker has missed two straight games with a jammed finger. He is questionable for tonight’s game.

In the overall series with the Wizards, it’s a tight one. Oklahoma City leads the series 65-58. Since Oklahoma City franchised moved from Seattle, Oklahoma City holds the 6-3 series lead. The Thunder are undefeated in four attempts versus the Wizards in Oklahoma City. The two teams have met in the playoffs, pre-OKC, Wizards won the first match up in the 1978 NBA Finals, winning in seven games. The same two teams met the next year in the 1979 NBA Finals, with SEA/OKC winning 4-1.

Keys to the Game

Get Westbrook going
Westbrook struggled against the Pistons due to the bigs. He was 0-of-6 at the rim before he finally got something to go in. Oklahoma City needs Westbrook to get off to a hot start, like against Dallas. If he is able to get off to a Westbrook-like start, the Thunder won’t have anything to worry about.

Defend the three
Washington likes to shoot the three, a lot. So much, that they’re ranked number one in attempts and makes. They’re pretty good at making them, they’re ranked fifth. Oklahoma City isn’t exactly the best at defending the three. The Thunder are one of the league’s worst at allowing the three. Thunder ranked 27th in attempts and three’s allowed. Gotta find a way to cover the rotation to limit the three ball.

Finish 4th strong
Oklahoma City Thunder have been a little lax in closing the final frame of the game. Against Phoenix, Utah and Detroit, all those teams made a big run in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City has used their free throws to seal the deal, but needs to not even allow the teams to get back in. If the opportunity presents, the Thunder need to close this team out.

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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