Tip-Off: 7:30 PM CST
Location: American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas)
Television: ESPN, FSOK
Radio: The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game
Player to Watch
F Harrison Barnes continues to have a career year in his first season with the Dallas Mavericks. Barnes is averaging 20.1 points while shooting 47.5% from the field, 34.6% from three, and 85.2% from the free throw line, to go along with 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists. In the only meeting between these two teams so far this season, Barnes was on fire as he led the Mavs in scoring shoot 13/26 (50%) for 31 points. Containing Barnes will be key to getting a victory in Dallas tonight.
Keys to the Game
- Work Inside: Dallas is not an impressive team when it comes to their interior play. They rank dead last in points in the paint and rebounds, while Oklahoma City is 2nd in points in the paint and 3rd in rebounds. However, Dallas is able to hold opponents to only 38.5 points in the paint, which is 3rd in the NBA. In the first matchup, the Mavericks outscored the Thunder 36-34 in the paint, but part of that was likely due to Enes Kanter having to leave the game after fracturing his forearm. Tonight should have a much different out come when it comes to the interior facet of the game.
- Play Together: The last two games have been extremely frustrating for Thunder fans because of the inconsistency of all-around team play. A few nights ago in Portland, the Oklahoma City bench showed up in a huge way, but starters not named Russell Westbrook did not have much of an impact on the game. Two nights ago in Phoenix, the Thunder bench played what seemed like one of its worst games of the season. Oklahoma City needs to continue to work on team chemistry and put the pieces of this newly-formulated team to figure out what works best and start winning games.
- Just Win: In the past two games, the Thunder has had every opportunity to take care of business and come away with easy wins against sub-.500 teams, but costly mistakes have turned into consecutive losses. Oklahoma City needs to take care of the ball and choose their shots wisely, or else a Dallas team that is playing much better basketball lately could get a win.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.