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Thunder vs Rockets preview: will NBA’s best bring out the same in OKC?

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The Thunder are teetering on the edge of the playoff seedings, and now must face a team on a 15 game win streak.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets

Time: 7PM CST

Location: Chesapeake Arena, OKC, Oklahoma

Network: TNT

The Thunder wobble into tonight’s game at an incredibly average state of mind. Since Andre Roberson’s injury, they are only 8-8 and their once fearsome defense has cratered, rendering them a sub-par shooting team that struggles to get stops, hence the narrow wins over 4 of the worst teams in the league over the past week.

Meanwhile, the Rockets are riding on a 15 game winning streak, have firmly separated themselves from the rest of the NBA, and largely view the Warriors as their primary rival from here on out.

Is that bleak enough? Hang on, it gets worse...

...Nah, let’s not do that. OKC, for all its flaws, still possesses a top gear that is capable of playing well against any team, but it is all predicated on their defense. They have quite possibly inadvertently created the ideal system for Russell Westbrook to play in, but the irony is that it only works when they emphasize perimeter defense above all else. It is the only thing that distinguishes the team from lottery teams this year. But when they go, when they hit it right...

Here comes James Harden, and this time OKC doesn’t have their antidote. Time to step up, Corey Brewer. Oy...

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Thunder
    (28 votes)
  • 76%
    Rockets
    (92 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now