OKC ThunderDome

Beyond…Waaaay Beyond…

Game 24 Preview: Thunder at Hornets

Tipoff: 8:00PM EST

Previous game

Game Preview

Key Players

  • Chris Paul – 15.7 ppg, 10.5 apg
  • David West – 18.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg

The Hornets have hit a bit of a skid these past few weeks, now sitting with a record of 14-7 after getting off to the hot start.  I also wonder if the latest scrutiny on the Hornets’ finances and the prospect of them losing the team plays a factor in their concentration.  You can read some of their impressions above in the pre-game report.

In game 1, the Thunder emerged as victors through excellent rebounding and defense.  The great thing about rebounding and defense is that it is always duplicable.   The Hornets come into the game as the 2nd ranked defense in the league – only allowing 91.8 points per.  However, they couple this prowess by only scoring 94.8, which is 26th in the league.  With game 1 at 95-89, as well as the game being in Nola, I expect that we’ll get a similar score when all is said and done.

What are the keys to winning?

  • I expect that there will be some sort of galvanizing effect of the recent Hornet ownership revelations.  Look for the home crowd to energize the team early.  The Thunder will need to weather the storm by keeping it close.
  • Westbrook needs to cut down on his turnovers.  He tallied eight in game 1, and the Thunder’s carelessness with the ball allowed the Hornets to stay close.
  • Occasionally switch Durant onto David West.  I don’t think it’s prudent to keep him on West the entire game; that would probably end up being detrimental from an offensive standpoint.  However, Durant’s length really bottled up West in the 4th quarter.
  • Keep Okefor off the offensive boards.  He got some cheap gimme’s in the first game.

This game will be a good test of how a team makes adjustments against the Thunder.  The key will be offensive patience and resilient defense.  Hopefully the Thunder will continue to go in the right direction.


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