OKC Thunder (18-5, 9-4 road) at Portland Trail Blazers (14-10, 11-1 home)
Where: The Rose Garden – Portland, OR
When: 9:00 p.m. CST
TV: FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
This budding Northwest Division rivalry can write anouther chapter tonight. Portland has already beat Oklahoma City this season for the Thunder’s only home loss. They used a second half run to pull away from Oklahoma City.
Last time these two met, Portland was 4-1 and first in the division. Since then Oklahoma City has been hot, going 13-3. Portland on the other hand, is just 7-8 in their last 15 games. They are horrible on the road. However, The Trail Blazers are one of the league’s best at home. They’re a very impessive 11-1 in the Rose Garden. They having a winning by an average margin of 17.0 points per game at home. Portland is coming off a 117-97 win where Nick Batum had 33 points. Marcus Camby grabbed 20 rebounds. Portland has one just one game in a row, but won five in a row at home.
Oklahoma City is coming off a butt kicking handed down by the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder missed 11 free throws and hit just 33% from three-point range. They allowed San Antonio to hit 12 three-point shots, while making 84% of their free throws. It was probably one of the most embarassing losses in the last three years.
Looks like Thabo Sefolosha is out again. For the Blazers, Felton is day-to-day. Greg Oden is out for the year.
Keys to the game
Two top 10 rebounding teams do battle tonight. Portland is ranked seventh. OKC is 10th. Marcus Camby and LaMarcus Aldridge rank in the top 20 in individual rebounding. While, Oklahoma City does it as a team. They don’t have a single person inside the top 25. (Durant is 25). As bad as Oklahoma City shoots on the road, just 44%, they’ll have to grab some offensive rebounds to help this game.
On the road, OKC 31.9% on the road from deep on the road. Portland, shoots almost 37% from beyond the arc. They’re not afraid to shoot it, averaging almost 8 made three’s a game.
Serge is the one who will be guarding LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge ate Ibaka for lunch. He had 30 points, 8 rebounds and was a game high +11 in the last meeting. Ibaka was getting his feet back underneath him. However, he’s bee on fire as of late. Especially from the defensive end. Try to find a way to slow Aldridge down, because you can’t stop him. Slow him down, and Oklahoma City will have a chance.