- When – Monday, 18 November 2013 at 7:00 PM CST
- Where – Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
There’s just something about coming back home after a tough road stretch. The Oklahoma City Thunder just had their first West Coast swing (to go along with a trip to Milwaukee??) and finished 1-2 on the trip, with the losses coming to Western Conference contenders, the Clippers and Warriors. That’s right, people. Its about that time to sound the alarm!!!! In reality though, the Clippers game was completely winnable if Serge Ibaka doesn’t lock arms with Blake Griffin to do a dosey-doe before halftime. And if the game ever comes down to Andre Iguadola taking a fade away 18 footer from the corner, you take that every day and twice on Sunday. What I’m trying to say is that both the games were winnable and, sometimes, those are just the breaks.
The Thunder and Denver Nuggets always seem to have exciting games due to the up-tempo style of both teams. This is the first meeting of the year between the two Northwest division rivals. The Nuggets won the season series last season 3-1, and always seem to give the Thunder issues on the boards and with points in the paint (especially Andre Miller and Ty Lawson).
The Denver Nuggets come into the game with a 4-5 record. They seem to be a better team than what their record indicates, but are currently decimated with injuries and inconsistent play. Their attack is started by point guard Ty Lawson, who leads the team in points, assists, and steals. The team once again has great depth and shuffles the line-up around constantly. Up front, Kenneth Faried leads the teams in rebounds per game, but is a bit undersized at the 4 spot, especially with Javale McGee being out. With that said, the Nuggets are still 2nd in the league in total rebounds. The flexibility of the roster leads to a good bench, led by Andre Miller, Nate Robinson, Evan Fournier, and Timofey Mozgov.
Probable Starting Line-Ups
- PG – Ty Lawson
- SG – Randy Foye
- SF – Wilson Chandler
- PF – Kenneth Faried
- C – JJ Hickson
Oklahoma City Thunder
- PG – Russell Westbrook
- SG – Thabo Sefolosha
- SF – Kevin Durant
- PF – Serge Ibaka
- C – Kendrick Perkins
3 Keys to the Game
1. Rebounds – Rebounding (either offensively or defensively to start a break) is a huge part of Denver’s attack. Neutralize this and you cut off one of their plans of attack.
2. Bench play – Denver is probably the deepest team in the league. The Thunder’s bench will have to play consistently to keep up with Denver’s bench.
3. Attack the paint – With McGee out, Denver is pretty small and thin up front, especially when Mozgov is not in the game. It may be prime opportunity for Ibaka and Nick Collison to gobble up some offensive rebounds.