The Oklahoma City Thunder continue their west coast road trip, a trip that is making my Keurig work overtime, as they enter the Staples Center to take on the L.A. Clippers. The Thunder will do so without Al Horford, who is still in OKC after the birth of his child. OKC will also miss Josh Hall who is in the NBA Health and Safety Protocol, and Ty Jerome is still in OKC rehabbing a Left Ankle Sprain.
The OKC Thunder are off to a better start, record-wise than many thought. However, their play on the floor is exactly where I pegged them for. They are a scrappy, young, incredibly fun, and competitive team. When you do all those things, the ball can bounce your way. You can have 22-point comebacks against a young and unprepared (and worse coached) Bulls team.
This stretch of the schedule though, in all likelihood will see the record level out. It started in Denver where the Nuggets blew out the Thunder on Tuesday. OKC now takes on another Western Conference Finals contender the L.A. Clippers.
Old friend Paul George is doing that thing again. You know, that thing where he has a very disappointing NBA postseason, becomes a laughing stock on Social Media, and responds with an MVP caliber season the year? Yeah, he is doing that again this year.
Watching Lu Dort go up against PG who is averaging 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists on shooting splits of 51.4/50.5/.91. It is safe to say that watching Dort try to lock down George who has only had three games this season under 20 points and in two of those games he did not crack 30 minutes and in the third he had 19, will be fun.
Can Darius Bazley finally break out of his offensive slump? How will SGA handle the defense the Clippers are able to throw at him? Can the Thunder keep this game close?
This road stretch will continue to be a measuring stick for the team. Getting blown out by the Nuggets is expected, can they keep it any closer against the Clippers? Can they beat the short-handed Blazers who are down 2 starters? How do they fair against CP3 and the Suns?
This two-game series with the Clippers will be the first true baseball style series. A common occurrence in the NBA this season the Thunder will take on L.A. at 9 p.m. tonight, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. This could set up an interesting dynamic. How can the Thunder (or Clippers) counter and make adjustments on the fly from game to game? The Thunder have had multiple days off heading into tonight with only the Clippers to prepare for this weekend, does OKC have a special wrinkle?
For Locked on Thunder listeners: The Bet of the day is Thunder +13.5, and Lu Dort is the money ball pick. The postgame pod will be up following the game, and we will have the recap right here on BTB!