Monday, November 30, 2015, at 7:00 PM CST - at Atlanta Hawks
This is another game against a former key Thunder player. Thabo Sefolosha is playing about 23 minutes per game for the Hawks and turning in a solid season. Serge Ibaka will have his hands full going up against Paul Milsap who is averaging a near double-double 19 games into the season. Milsap is putting up 18.2 points per game and pulling down 9.5 rebounds per game. This game will be shown on FS Oklahoma.
Thursday, December 3, 2015, at 6:00 PM CST - at Miami Heat
The rosters are significantly different but the wounds still run deep for Oklahoma City fans. Any game against the Miami Heat brings back cringe inducing feelings. Lebron James has moved on to Cleveland, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh remain from the 2012 team that defeated the Thunder in the NBA Finals. Bosh is bordering on averaging a double-double by scoring 17.5 points per game and cleaning the class for an even 9 rebounds per game. Wade is beginning to show his age, yet still remains dangerous. He is scoring 17.1 points per game (would be his second lowest average of his career) and has seen his rebounds and assists per game decline over the last four seasons. This game will be televised on TNT and FS Oklahoma.
Three Things to Watch for:
The Oklahoma City Thunder are only 3-3 this season in road games. The Thunder have one of the greatest home fan bases in the NBA, but true contenders must win on the road. This would be a good week to begin winning road games. The games are spread apart and there is not a lot of distance between Atlanta and Miami.
Ibaka struggled in two back to back games earlier this month against the New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans. In those games he only scored 8 and 6 points respectively, while shooting 4-13 and 2-11. Since that New York game on November 20th, the Thunder big man has scored in double digits in 4 consecutive games. In those four games he’s averaging 13.25 ppg, 6.25 rpg, and 2.75 blocks per game. In this short burst he is shooting 57.1% from the floor.
Westbrook has only scored fewer than 20 points in two games this season. One of those games was Friday against Detroit. The other was against the Denver Nuggets – a game in which Westbrook played just 25 minutes. Following the Denver game, Westbrook bounced back against the Houston Rockets and scored 25 points, dished 11 assists, pulled down 8 rebounds. He did this on 10-16 shooting from the floor and 3-6 from deep. Westbrook should have another solid follow up game against Jeff Teague and the Hawks on Monday.
Around the Leage:
Here are some games that could be fun to watch around the NBA this week
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 (6 PM CST) – Los Angeles Lakers @ Philadephia 76ers
This is not going to be a great display of NBA basketball, but it will feature Kobe Bryant’s shell and some good young big men in Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor. But most important to this game is that it might be Philadelphia’s last serious chance to end their notorious losing streak. This game can only be seen locally in the respective markets or on NBA League Pass.
Thursday, December 3, 2015 (8:30 PM CST) - San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies
A rematch of the 2013 Western Conference Finals could be interesting. Memphis is 6-4 in their last 10 games and seem to be gradually figuring things out. The Spurs are, well, the Spurs. They’re sitting at 14-3. This game will be shown on TNT.
Saturday, December 5, 2015 (6 PM CST) - Cleveland Cavaliers @ Miami Heat
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Miami Heat – Lebron James makes another return to Miami to play against old friends Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. This game will be shown on NBA TV.
By the Numbers
The Thunder are averaging 115.3 points per game on the road this season. This is higher than the season long average of 109.4 points per game. However, they are giving up 110.3 points per game compared to the season average of 102.8 points per game.
The Thunder have scored 100 points or more in 13 games this season. Only Golden State (18) has more such games. Atlanta has only surpassed 100 points 9 times this season. Miami has only scored 100 in 3 games so far.
The number of rebounds on average that the Thunder pull down per game. This is the best rate in the NBA. Miami ranks 10th with 45.2 rebounds per game, and Atlanta ranks lowly at 28th pulling down just 41.2 boards per game.
Forever and always, Thunder Up!