Tip-Off: 9:30 PM CST
Location: Staples Center (Los Angeles, California)
Television: FSOK, NBA TV
Radio: The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game
Player to Watch
PF Julius Randle has grown into quite the difference maker for the Lakers averaging 14.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists a game. In Oklahoma City’s third game of the season, Randle scored 20 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and nabbed 3 steals against the Thunder. Domantas Sabonis struggled to defend Randle, but after some experience, Sabonis should be better prepared for the task tonight.
Keys to the Game
- Defense is Paramount: Despite only winning half their games, the Lakers have one of the most high-powered offenses in the NBA averaging 109.8 points a game. The Lakers do not just score a lot of points, but they score in an efficient manner. Los Angeles shoots 35.9% from three, 51.9% from inside the arc, and 80.7% from the free throw line. Oklahoma City cannot allow the Lakers to get good looks at the basket, so the defense must be step up and play with maximum effort.
- Force Turnovers: Los Angeles struggles with taking care of the ball, averaging 16.1 turnovers a game, so if Oklahoma City is able to force the LA into making mistakes, the Thunder will be able to do run in transition and turn defense into offense.
- Expose the Lakers Down Low: As good as the Lakers are on offense, they are absolutely atrocious on defense. The Thunder should be able to manipulate some of of the weaknesses that Los Angeles has in the paint and rack up some impressive stats.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter.