Dallas Mavericks (22-16, 8-9 road) at Oklahoma City Thunder (29-8, 15-1 home)
Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 7:00 p.m.
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
View from the enemy: Here.
Last time: Thunder defeated the Mavericks 95-86 on February 1st.
Well, here we are again. I really dislike this team personally. From my experiences in Dallas in the Western Conference Finals, to the players like Jason terry. That doesn’t change the fact that this team is the defending world champions. They are a still very talented team, they’re just old.
Dallas is coming off a 102-96 win over the Utah Jazz. They’re 5-5 in their last 10 games. They lost 5 of their last 7 though. Doesn’t change the fact this is in fact, a rivalry. They still have Dirk Nowtizki. He’s one of the best players in the league and no one talks about him.
Dallas is a very good defensive team, they have the stats to prove it. Also, they have veteran leadership and a premier scorer. Do not sleep on this team just because they’re not as good as in recent past. Fact is, since starting the season 3-5, Dallas is 19-11.
Oklahoma City is coming off a bad performance at Atlanta, but they’re home finally. They’ll play 10 of their next 12 here in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City has the best home record in the league at 15-1, They win 11.4 points per game.
Keys to the game
Dallas turned all of OKC’s turnovers last season’s playoffs into points. Oklahoma City needs to limit their turnovers if they feel that they’re going to win this game. Most home games can be considered a “gimme,” but not against Dallas. The Mavericks are a great defensive team and will make you pay if you turn it over.
Defend the three
With Nowitzki and Terry on the roster, they’re a deep threat. Oklahoma City needs to defend the perimeter. They’ve done a decent job of it all season, but tonight will be crucial. Dallas can be very streaky from long range.
I don’t have to remind you of last year’s playoffs. Also, he struggled earlier this season against Dallas. I don’t know if it’s Jason Kidd, or what, but Westbrook seems to struggle a bit against the Mavericks. Let’s see if we see All-Star Westbrook or playoff Westbrook. Hopefully a great combination of both.