Tip-Off: 7:00 PM CST
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Radio: The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game
Player to Watch
C Brook Lopez is a guy the Thunder need to keep an eye on tonight. Lopez leads the Nets in scoring with 20.6 points per game, and while he is an effective scorer inside the paint, this season he has added a fairly accurate shot (32.7%) from behind the arc. Steven Adams should be able to defend Lopez just fine down low, but Adams will likely need some help on defense to assist with covering Lopez around the perimeter.
Keys to the Game
- Stop Second Quarter Collapse: If Oklahoma City wants to be successful this season, the Thunder bench is going to need to step up their effort. OKC currently ranks 17th in the league in bench scoring with 31.8 points per game, and they rank 21st in bench defensive efficiency. The Thunder starters are carrying the load in every facet of the game, primarily because of Russell Westbrook, and if Oklahoma City wants to be competitive, the second unit is going to have to stop giving up leads in the second quarter that are built by the starters in the first.
- Avoid Fouling: The Thunder rank near the bottom of the league in fouling other teams, and while the Nets do not get to the free throw line all that often, Brooklyn ranks sixth in the league in free throw accuracy sinking 81% of their attempts. Oklahoma City needs to continue to play aggressive defense yet keep Brooklyn off of the charity stripe.
- Finish Strong: Oklahoma City has had an issue at finishing games strong, and tonight they need to take care of business in the 4th quarter. Brooklyn ranks second in the league in 4th quarter scoring, so the Thunder cannot afford a late-game letdown to allow another loss at home.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.