Tip-Off: 6 PM CST
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)
Radio: The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game
Opposing Player to Watch
- SG Lou Williams: Williams is currently coming off the bench behind Jordan Clarkson, and despite only playing 21 minutes per game so far, he is tied for leading the Lakers in points (14.5 per game) and assists (4 per game), and he leads the team in steals (2 per game). The Thunder sometimes have a tendency of letting a role player have a career game, and Williams is no exception. Last January when the Thunder visited the Lakers, Williams erupted for 44 points, so Oklahoma City needs to keep an eye on him as he is a more than capable playmaker.
Keys to the Game
- No Slow Start: In two games so far, the Thunder have had terribly slow starts, finding themselves trailing by double digits in the first quarter before making a comeback. While that may work against teams like the 76ers, the Suns, and even the Lakers, it will eventually catch up them. Oklahoma City has got to take smart, efficient shots and play hard-nosed defense as soon as the ball tips off, not whenever they feel like it later in the game.
- Lighten the Load for Russ: Aside from Victor Oladipo, Russell Westbrook had no consistent help on Friday against the Suns. Steven Adams is primed to be a major key to the Thunder on offense, so he has to be consistent. Other players like Andre Roberson and Kyle Singler need to be looking for quality shots, and they actually need to MAKE THEM.
- Continue to Close Out: Last season, the Thunder led the league in losing games despite leading after three quarters. One obvious positive from the first two games this season so far for the Thunder is their ability to close the game with a win. In both of the games, Oklahoma City started the fourth quarter down by six yet was able to come back and win. While the wins have not come against high-quality opponents, being able to fight back and come out on top is always a good sign.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter.