Tip-Off: 7 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
F Tobias Harris is the leading scorer for Detroit averaging 16.2 points a game. He also averages 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assist, and he is a 92% free throw shooter. In the first meeting between the Thunder and the Pistons, Tobias Harris led Detroit with 22 points, while also tacking on 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and 0 turnovers. Expect Oklahoma City to be better prepared to guard Harris back at the Peake this evening.
Keys to the Game
- Play Efficient Basketball: Both Oklahoma City and Detroit are playing the second half of a back-to-back, but the Thunder played in overtime twice this week and are playing their fifth game in only seven days. When fatigue sets in, mistakes typically increase, so the Thunder need to play efficient basketball and try to minimize turnovers and other areas of the game that could cause problems.
- Pound the Paint: Detroit is extremely effective at defending in the paint, holding opponents to only 46.5% from inside the arc. Oklahoma City gets up a lot of shots inside the three, but because of the lack of spacing and three-point shooters, defenses expect this, and the Thunder miss a lot at the basket. If Oklahoma City can score in the paint early, they can establish a presence and open up the floor for other scoring possibilities.
- Win the Rebounding Battle: Like the Denver Nuggets, the Detroit Pistons are one of the top rebounding teams in the league, and last night, the rebounding battle almost cost the Thunder the game. Oklahoma City needs to control the glass and fight for every rebound. If they can do that, they can avoid putting themselves in a tight position like last night in Denver.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.