|2013-2014 NBA Season|
|March 20th, 2014|
|Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH|
|6:00 PM Central Standard Time|
|TV: Fox Sports Network Oklahoma|
|Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM/640 AM), 1300 AM The Buzz Tulsa|
|Injury Report: Kendrick Perkins (Out), Thabo Sefolosha (Out), Russell Westbrook (Out), Kyrie Irving (Out)|
|Previous Matchups: Feb. 25th (Thunder trail series, 0-1)|
|Reggie Jackson||PG||Jarrett Jack|
|Perry Jones III||SG||Dion Waiters|
|Kevin Durant||SF||Alonzo Gee|
|Serge Ibaka||PF||Tristan Thompson|
|Steven Adams||C||Spencer Hawes|
|2013/14 Advanced Stats|
|95.6 (9th)||Pace||93.0 (20th)|
|110.2 (7th)||ORtg||102.9 (24th)|
|103.3 (5th)||DRtg||107.6 (20th)|
Tonight's game, the 2nd between the Thunder and the Cavaliers, is full of asterisks. On the one side of the court, Russell Westbrook is not playing tonight:
Russell Westbrook (rest) will not play tonight at Cleveland. He'll be back in the lineup Friday at Toronto.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 20, 2014
Westbrook sitting tonight and being expected to play tomorrow vs the Raptors continues the trend that the front office has established for his recovery time. Previously he sat vs the Mavericks and then played the next night vs the Bulls. Reggie Jackson will get the start, meaning that once again the Thunder will be without 3 of their starters.
On the other side of the court, Thunder killer Kyrie Irving will in also be out. In previous outings, it has been the Thunder's inability to guard Irving in the 4th quarter that has caused them to drop games to this lottery team. Will it matter now that Irving is sitting?
The Thunder should be able to control both ends of the court, but before we get too confident, keep in mind that the Kyrie-less Cavs nearly defeated the Miami Heat two nights ago, outrebounding the champs and shooting 51.4% in the process.
This is the NBA. Nothing is a given, so OKC should treat it as such. Let us hope that this front end of the back to back goes better than the last.