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First Round, Game 2: Mavs at Thunder

THUNDER LEAD SERIES 1-0.

 VS 

Where: The ‘Peake!
When
: 8:30 p.m. 
TV
: NT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: The Smoking Cuban.

Projected Lineups:

Thunder Mavericks
PG Russell Westbrook Jason Kidd
SG Thabo Sefolosha Delonte West
SF Kevin Durant Shawn Marion
PF Serge Ibaka Dirk Nowitzki
C Kendrick Perkins Brendon Haywood
6th Man James Harden Jason Terry

 

Last time: Thunder survived the Mavericks 99-98 on Saturday Night.

Saturday night’s game was something else. Oklahoma City didn’t play well for basically the entire game. Then the final 2:30 seconds they turned it up and on. Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka combined for the final 12 points of the game, including Durant’s basket with 1.5 seconds left to give Oklahoma City the 99-98 win.

The night ended great for Durant, who hit his second game winner against Dallas this season, but it wasn’t all great. Durant only shot 10-of-27 from the floor. Durant finished the fourth quarter, 3-of-8, including 8 total points. Durant finished with 25 points, might have been the hardest fought 25 points in his career.

The Mavericks really forced Oklahoma, for the most part, into a half court game. Oklahoma City wasn’t able to get out and run most of the time, and it played right into the game plan of the Mavericks.  That’s the thing about the playoffs, teams adjust just a bit to get better the next game. Expect Oklahoma City to adjust and try to run on the aging Mavericks.

Jason Terry though, has been running his mouth. After being shut down by Russell Westbrook in the fourth quarter, Terry responded to why he didn’t get many touches in the fourth quarter. He was very dismissive.

“It don’t even matter,” Terry said. “I bet I get touches this next fourth quarter.”

Asked what makes him sure, Terry was again short.

“I will. That’s all I can tell you,” he said. “I can’t tell you other than that. And you know when I say it, it’s going to happen.”

Terry was then asked if he expects Westbrook to cover him again in the fourth quarter.

“Whoever they throw at me, it doesn’t matter,” Terry said. “We’ll have success, and that’s what it’s going to take for us to win.”

While Terry is an NBA champion, he has every right to say the things that he said, but as for the Thunder fans reading this, I bet we’re on the same page when we cannot wait for Westbrook to shut him up.

Keys to the Game

Limit Dirk
Dirk struggled against the Thunder, largly in part to the defense of Kendrick Perkins. I don’t expect Dirk to be limited twice in a row. He’s going to go off one game this series where it’s going to be hard to even keep up, I don’t want it to be in OKC. Perkins was big in Game 1. I hope he can be just as big in Game 2.

Serge Ibaka
Ibaka was AWESOME in Game 1. We don’t need that to become an anomaly. Ibaka’s offense needs to become routine. Ibaka was 7-7 at the rim last night. Hopefully that continues tonight.

Get to the line
Thudner only got to the line 20 times Saturday night while the Mavericks shot 27 free throws. This needs to flip-flop. OKC averaged 27 shots from the charity stripe in the regular season. Best way to attack the zone, and force teams out of it, is to attack the paint. When you attack the paint, you increase your chances of getting to the line.

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