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Thunder vs Mavericks preview: OKC looks to rebound vs Dallas

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OKC needs to regain its focus tonight in Big D.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder head to Dallas tonight to take on the likely lottery-bound Dallas Mavericks. In their first head-to-head match-up, the Thunder overcame the absence of Steven Adams and Carmelo Anthony to put together a strong 2nd half, a rarity these days.

With the Mavericks sitting on only 2 4 wins so far, the Thunder once again have a material advantage, just as they did in game 1 as well as vs the Kings. However, as we have learned, there is no lead too large, nor opponent too lowly, for OKC to bungle.

What I’ll be looking for tonight:

  • Better PnR defense from Russell Westbrook, whose defensive awareness, particularly off the ball, is directly leading to defensive let-downs in the 2nd half.
  • Steven Adams shot attempts in the 4th quarter.
  • The bench has been struggling, but the basic numbers don’t really tell the story. OKC wants to stagger either Carmelo or Paul George, so their base numbers don’t really matter as much as how productive they are when Westbrook isn’t on the court.
  • Three point attempts vs free throw attempts. This may be a news flash for some, but OKC is not a great shooting team, and they never have been. So if you see their three-to-free efficiency ratio higher than 3:1 (I totally just made that up), you will know that they aren’t playing to their strengths.
  • There may be a technical foul tonight. Or two.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Thunder
    (26 votes)
  • 61%
    Mavericks
    (42 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now