The Oklahoma City Thunder find themselves in a position that no one really thought they’d be in, winless. The 0-3 start to the season has turned confidence into worry as the team struggles to find chemistry and outside shooting.
Missing Russell Westbrook for the first two games, and Andre Roberson until who knows when, may have affected the team chemistry a bit as players are learning their roles among a new, but not permanent, starting five.
Having Russ back on the floor should serve to stabilize things a bit but this team is still in trouble until jump shots start falling. However, when they do you’d better watch out.
Russell Westbrook – If he isn’t the game’s leading scorer tonight then the Thunder could easily be looking at 0-4. The value he has to this team can’t be measured as he truly is their heart and soul. He’ll need some help though as his 32 point, 12 rebound, 8 assist performance in Sunday’s loss to Sacramento indicated.
Paul George – He and Westbrook should be a 1-2 knocking combination but right now it’s just a couple of jabs with maybe a left hook thrown in here and there. They’ve only had one game together, in which they combined for 61 points, so you have to feel like great things are coming.
Steven Adams – I honestly feel like this trio right here is going to make our “Players to Watch” list quite often this season. I also feel like Adams is on the cusp of having a career season. His physical play inside could pay some huge dividends tonight.
The Thunder aren’t alone in the disappointing start to the season. Boston comes to OKC having lost two of their last three, after dominating Philly in the season opener. It’s safe to say that both teams are still trying to find themselves a bit and that could be a disadvantage to the Celtics on the road.
Kyrie Irving – If you can’t get excited about the point guard match-up in tonight’s game then I feel a bit sorry for you. Irving has been a bit hit or miss in the scoring department to start the season, but he’s averaging 19 points over the last two games. Even more so he’s turned up the defensive pressure a bit averaging two steals per contest over that same time.
Jason Tatum – Boston’s leading scorer is also averaging a double-double on the season with 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. However, he was held to a season low 7 points against Orlando on Monday.
Al Horford – I feel like the battle under the basket is just as important as the battle of the point guards tonight…especially if shots aren’t falling. Horford is a better pure scorer than Steven Adams but Adams is more physical and should have an advantage on the boards. For the season, Horford is averaging 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.