Monday, November 23 at 8:00 PM CST – at Utah Jazz
The Thunder will open the week on the second night of a back-to-back against Utah, yet another tough Western Conference foe. Utah doesn’t have the most powerful offense, but their elite defense is allowing the second lowest point total in the league. This will be a difficult road game for Oklahoma City.
Wednesday, November 25 at 7:00 PM CST – vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets are off to a horrendous start this season. They’re just 3-11, which ties them for the third worst record in all of the NBA. They still have some talent in guys like Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, but they haven’t been playing very well. The Thunder should be able to take this game easily, especially at home.
Friday, November 27 at 7:00 PM CST – vs. Detroit Pistons
Everyone has been looking forward to this game since last year’s trade deadline: the day Reggie Jackson returns to OKC. Jackson didn’t depart on great terms, and Thunder fans would love to see Russell Westbrook dominate against the young talented point guard. Detroit has a solid squad behind coach Stan Van Gundy, so the Thunder will have to play well to knock off Jackson’s new team.
#Three Things to Watch for:
We’re coming up on a month into Donovan’s first season as an NBA head coach, and he has yet to wow anyone. To say he’s been bad or a downgrade from Scott Brooks is unfair, but he seems to be struggling in some ways. His rotations have been somewhat questionable, and it kind of seems that he’s struggling to keep his guys motivated. Here’s hoping that the team can get it together behind Donovan, sooner rather than later.
Morrow has struggled so far this season, which has come as a surprise to everyone following his great season last year. He had a great game Sunday against Dallas though, shooting the ball well and tallying a season high 14 points. It will be interesting to see if he can build off this performance and solidify his role on the team again.
Westbrook is averaging over five turnovers per game this year, and he’s had six games with six turnovers or more. He’s always going to turn the ball over some with his style of play, but he really needs to keep his average under five, and even under four if possible. Turnovers have always been a weakness of his, but at this rate he is on pace for his worst season in that category. Hopefully he can start to take care of the basketball more.
#Around the League:
Here are some games around the NBA to watch for this week.
Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors – Tuesday, November 24 at 9:30 PM CST
While this matchup looks like it will be a blowout in favor of the defending champion Warriors, it carries a pretty big historical significance. The Warriors are 15-0 to begin this week, and just one more victory will give them the best start for a team in NBA history. They should be able to come out on top against a bad Lakers team, but it’s always great to see history in the making.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors - Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30 PM CST
This game will feature two of the top Eastern Conference teams, and features more than a handful of talented players. Guys like DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry will look to lead the Raptors over LeBron James, Kevin Love and a very deep Cavaliers team.
Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs – Wednesday, November 25 at 7:30 PM CST
The Mavericks are much better than everyone expected them to be, and the Spurs are as dangerous as always. Combine that with the fact that this is one of the better rivalries in the Western Conference, and you’ve got a recipe for a great basketball game.
#By the Numbers:
Wins for the Thunder so far on second nights of a back-to-back, out of three tries. They will look to change that against Utah on Monday.
Consecutive 30 plus point performances for Westbrook. He’s averaging 37 points per game in that stretch.
The Thunder’s positive rebound differential so far this season, which makes them the league leaders.