Oklahoma City Thunder (9-2, 4-1 road) at New Orleans Hornets (3-6, 1-3 Home)
Obviously these are not the same Hornets that you saw when they were in Oklahoma City. They don’t even have Chris Paul or David West anymore. Doesn’t mean they’re not competitive. However, they’ve brought in some good players to replace those that have departed. So, New Orleans is not exactly the push over you may think. They have wins over Boston and Denver.
The Hornets come into tonight’s game 3-6 on the season, and just 1-3 at home. However, they’re not the offensive team that we’ve come to see. They’re averaging just 87.3 points per game. That’s good enough for just 27th in the league, respectively. At home, they’re averaging just 89 points per game. So, this could be a big win by the Thunder if they play up to their ability.
Oklahoma City is coming off a nice win over the Memphis Grizzlies, where they held par on a five point lead to finish with a 100-95 win over a scrappy Memphis team. Russell Westbrook had 30 points, Kevin Durant had a double-double. It was a pretty good performance by the Thunder.
Keys to the game
New Orleans can’t score really. They rebound well, they defend wel. However, they haven’t scored over a 100 points since April 8th of last season. They’ve only hit the 90’s three times this season. We don’t necessarily have to shoot well, just be able to get to the line, score points. This game hits mid-90’s. This should be a victory for the Thunder.
REBOUND, REBOUND, REBOUND
While they might not be the best offensive team in the league, they know how to grab rebounds. They rank fourth overall in total rebounds. They out rebound their opponent on average of six rebounds a ball game. They’re very good on the offensive glass, where the Thunder have problems all season. Hornets average 12.4 offensive rebound per game. That is right there for sixth in the league.
Eric Gordon will not play for the Hornets due to an injury. That means Marco Belinelli will start and the bench for the Hornets will be more short handed than usual. They’re averaging 26.5 points off the bench. 15.0 is coming from Carl Landry who plays behind Chris Kaman. With the injury to Gordon, the 9.2 of Belinelli is now in the line up. They’re much short on the scoring. Oklahoma City averages 37.5 ppg from the bench. Enough said.