Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ New York Knicks
Time: 11:30 AM CST
Location: Madison Square Garden, NYC
Counterpart: Posting and Toasting
The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to New York City for their matchup with the New York Knicks on Martin Luther King Day. The Thunder are coming off a dramatic win over the 76ers, where many things went right, then a bunch of things went wrong, and then Paul George saved their bacon. OKC will look to have a less dramatic time today in MSG.
The Knicks are once again struggling this season, but never let that tempt you into thinking the Thunder should have an easy go at it, as we have observed over the past three weeks. They are still largely tipping to and fro, based on Russell Westbrook’s level of engagement passing the ball and defending the pick and roll, and the bench remains a mess, particularly during those 8 minute stretches straddling the first and second quarters. While Dennis Schroder showed some offensive firepower last game, he was still a -7 in the +/- column.
This game, as has been the case with every game against weaker teams as of late, is going to come down to 3 things:
- How the Thunder defend the pick and roll, particularly in preventing Tim Hardaway Jr. and Emmanuel Mudiay from getting into the lane or popping for open threes.
- How the Thunder rebound, as their early season edge has rapidly diminished.
- Whether the bench can protect leads while Westbrook and George sit.
Special bonus of course will be to watch how Steven Adams toys with stache bro emeritus Enes Kanter, but the game will largely be decided by how OKC does those 3 basic things.
In the meantime, enjoy your MLK Day, everyone.
Who do you think will win today?
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